CMLL Tuesday: All Rise in the Presence of Big Euf!
Last night, I made the conscious decision to skip reviewing the CMLL Puebla show so I could continue doing research for my Edmonton Oilers column I dropped today. On the one hand, it was a good decision because that column (at least in my view) came out very good. On the other hand, holy shit did I miss out reviewing a really good Puebla show! We had Rey Samuray doing moonsault arm drags, Flyer being Flyer, Marco and Diamante Azul having a very good Heavyweight Title match and an honest to Grodd match of the year candidate as Guerrero Maya Jr. and Hechicero re-wrote the book on what can and can't be done in Arena Puebla. It was great stuff; so naturally I felt the obligation to review tonight's show in the hopes a similar miracle was pulled off. It was; with the exception of the opener, this was yet another entertaining CMLL show with a main event that was legitimately awesome. I know; I wouldn't believe it if I didn't see it myself. But enough about me being shocked; you'll get to experience that in the rest of the column! Let's get started.
Pequeño Olímpico & Pequeño Violencia defeated Acero & Aéreo two falls to one
Nothing quite says “I should’ve done something else instead of watching this show” quite like this match. The only good thing I can say about it is that it allowed me to skim a Deadspin article and enjoy the pizza I was eating without being distracted. Otherwise, this sucked. Olímpico and Violencia were merely going through the motions (and Violencia can’t even do that right), while Acero was mediocre as always and Aéreo, who I will remind you all for the 9,001st time is actually really good, had nothing to do other than a cool arm drag here or there. A forgettable opener that I have no desire to relive any longer. NEXT!
La Jarochita, La Vaquerita, Sanely defeated Dalys, Metálica, Reyna Isis two falls to one
This was seven thousand times better than the opener, which just goes to show you how bad the opener was. Although in fairness, while none of these six luchadoras are Zeuxis (seriously, who is?), they were trying and some of the stuff they did was really good. Sanely in particular had a strong performance; she’s continuing to try new springboard style stuff (and hitting on it for the most part), looks more confident and I made no notes tonight about her hitting the ropes poorly. PROGRESS! Not enough to make this match good, but hey; baby steps. Other things that happened here; Vaquerita doing a pretty cool submission to finish the match, Metálica hitting a running senton two too many times and Reyna Isis appearing to have peaked. Remember when she came back from Japan and it looked like she had really improved? Yeah, the improvement has stalled. Oh well; at least she’s now passably bad instead of Pequeño Violencia bad. You never want to be Pequeño Violencia bad.
Magia Blanca, Pegasso, Starman defeated Nitro, Templario, Virus two falls to one
To think; if CMLL had put any other rudo but Nitro in his spot, everyone would’ve gone into this thinking “you know…this has a shot.” Turns out even with Nitro it had a shot, and you’ll be stunned to know it was because of Magia Blanca and Templario. You know that chemistry Templario has with the Audaz Formerly Known as Fiero? Yeah, he’s got it with Blanca too. I was worried CMLL wasn’t going to let them do anything together after they got no time during the first fall, but they kicked off fall three together and didn’t disappoint, with Templario crossing between his great base skills and high flying while Blanca continued to display his newfound confidence. They somehow topped themselves at the end of the match too, with Blanca going for a Yoshi Tonic and somehow turning Templario in midair to hit the move! It looked like a botch for a moment, but it was actually a brilliant piece of work by both men. I would’ve said it was the most shocking thing of the match, except that crown goes to the above average performance of Starman. STARMAN!
As it turns out sports fans, Starman, like Mark Henry in his salmon suit, still has a lot left in the tank, at least with the right guy. And well, as he’s proven with almost everyone else, Templario is without question he right guy for almost any luchador. His basing for Starman was off the charts, and it gave the veteran the confidence to try things like a running Astro Whip headscissors off the apron! That’s right, it happened and it was as awesome as it sounded. Big ups for Starman for putting in the effort on that; I wasn’t sure we’d ever see him do something like that again…ever. The rest of the luchadors weren’t quite as adventurous; Pegasso settled for a quiet night, while Virus was reliable (if not as flashy as usual) and Nitro did his best to stay out of the way. That hurt the match from being better with a more dynamic worker, but with what we had, this was very good, with Templario and Blanca standing out. More fun matches with those two I say!
Johnny Idol, Sam Adonis, Vangellys defeated Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr., The Panther two falls to one
In case it wasn’t obvious that Blue Panther wasn’t at the controls for this match (and maybe these recent shows), the first fall lasted a total of three seconds before Junior and Panther rolled Idol and Sam up. Only Blue Panther is doing that! The proceedings after that were fun, but not as fun as some of the recent efforts we’ve seen with the Panthers and Sam. I think it was less a quality thing and more a lack of time, though the referee did stop a Blue Panther tope because…because. In any event, this was still fun, the Sam wig pull spot is still great (as is Sam using a different wing!), the finishing sequence was great (Vangellys hitting a Swing Bottom on Panther while Sam and Idol rolled the others up) and Panther and Junior got to fit in a few cool things in between the quick pace. Decent fun, though I wish they had given more time so Panther could’ve nailed an awe inspiring suicide dive. That was pretty much all that was missing.
Stuka Jr., Titán, Valiente defeated Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto two falls to one
I was beginning to worry this match was never going to pick up the pace; then Titán hit a stage dive on Mephisto in the intermission between fall two and three and suddenly we were back on track. The first two falls were uneventful enough due to the rudo beat downs that I can’t quite say this match was good, but the third fall was a lot of fun thanks to all six men trying, particularly Titán and Luciferno. Dear Grodd have I missed Luciferno; he was so good in his few minutes that it just made it all the more obvious why Ephesto needs to be sent to the same place Super Parka went to after Negro Casas beat him. Alas, Luci was fun, Stuka and Valiente had some fun moments with Mephisto and the Titán-Mephisto stuff from the end of fall two on was great. So great that we’ll get to see it again; Titán challenged Mephisto to a Welterweight Title match next week and, like a blushing bride to be, Mephisto said yes! I don’t want to get your hopes up sports fans, but the two did have a singles match back in 2016 on a Tuesday show and HOLY SHIT WAS IT BONKERS GOOD! Kudos to CMLL for going back to it. Hell, kudos to CMLL for a whole lot right now. I don’t know who is behind the “Make CMLL Fun Again!” campaign, but show me to him/her so I can shake their hand!
Carístico defeated Euforia two falls to one
Just when you thought Guerrero Maya Jr. vs. Hechicero was going to run away with the CMLL Match of the Week award, enter Carístico vs. Euforia! I LOVED this match. I didn’t expect to; I thought it would peak at very good, with Carístico not giving enough of an effort to make it great. And truth be told that looked like it would be the case through the first two falls, as they had two quick, solid and unspectacular moments of action. Then Carístico went for his tornillo, only to get caught and slammed onto the floor by Big Euf, and I was left sitting there like this.
Pretty much from that point on the match morphed into a tremendous back and forth battle, complete with Euforia Specials, Brian Cage style Superplexes, Carístico turned a botched Yoshi Tonic into a really nice on the fly rollup and a Volador style Super Rana that I was pretty sure ended the match, only it didn’t! Even the reversal sequences were top notch, which shouldn’t be surprising because Euforia is just a master class at that sort of thing. Honestly, this was his match; Carístico was fantastic and I’d dare say his performance was up there with the ones from the recent Volador series, but this was all about Big Euf. He never, EVER gets the opportunity to strut his stuff, despite being the most reliable base in lucha libre and a truly underrated performer in his own right. Well, this match was designed to be his night to shine; there was no UG standing by his side, the match was designed to be a back and forth affair as opposed to Euforia just catching a guy for twenty minutes. It was all set up for Euforia to deliver, and my Grodd did he deliver in every facet of the game. My only regret is he didn’t win, which is fine in the grand scheme of things because there’s no shame in losing to a dude like Carístico. That aside, this was a fantastic match (especially the final third) and a great surprise, considering I didn’t think it would get this good. Between this match, last night’s Hechicero-Maya match, Tritón’s performance on Friday, the Sam-Casas match from January 1st, the special Saturday show opener and now the potential Titán-Mephisto match next Tuesday…holy shit has CMLL been super fun! And that’s not even counting FantasticaMania! Keep it up Paco; this is the best work you’ve done since you told Valiente to wear pants again.
And I’m out! Hope you enjoyed kids. We’re back tomorrow to talk about the FantasticaMania stars for New Japan fans who aren’t too familiar. Till we reconvene then, THIS!