LuchaPalooza! CMLL Puebla Preview (The One After the Anniversary Show)
We are in the home stretch boys and girls! Triplemania is over, the 83rd Anniversary Show is over, unless I’m mistaken the IWRG Sunday show is over and now all that’s left is two more CMLL shows and the Lucha Underground season three premiere before LuchaPalooza comes to an end. It’s been a good run huh? We’ll reminisce about this later in the week though as for now it’s time to predict more CMLL, starting with the Puebla show and their first show streamed since the Anniversary Show. Let’s just say this show won’t be nearly as good as that one. It won’t be bad either, but barring a miracle in matches 1, 2 and 4 we’re looking at a night of half good, half bad. Them the breaks I suppose. But enough about the breaks; let’s break it down! Moses, find me somebody to meme!
Arkalis & Astro vs. Espíritu Maligno & Mini Joker
What to Expect: And we’re back to the same old, same old in regards to CMLL opening matches. Maybe I should’ve been nicer to that women’s match from the Anniversary Show! That’s honestly all I’ve got here. None of these guys are standout performers and with the “no dives” sign in the cockpit this should be your standard CMLL opener that’s either very okay or very bad. Let’s hope for the very okay.
Winners: Mini Joker’s team, but I reserve the right to retract that prediction if he doesn’t come out dressed like Jared Leto’s Joker. Otherwise he’s on his own. Next!
Asturiano & Rey Samuray vs. Ares & Policeman
What to Expect: The good news; Asturiano and Rey Samuray are in this match and they’re really, REALLY good. Well at least Asturiano is. The bad news is that they’re facing Ares and Policeman, who are either really, REALLY bad or really, REALLY uninterested depending on the day. Here’s hoping that Asturiano and Samuray carry the load and are allowed to do some really cool dives while Ares and Policeman do their best not to fuck it all up. Also let’s hope that I stop saying REALLY in all caps from now on. Even I was getting annoyed with that, and I’m the guy writing the damn column.
Winners: If there is a Cthulhu somewhere up there then Asturiano and Samuray will win. I’m still not sure if there is or isn’t one, but let’s be optimistic and say Asturiano and Samuray will win. I’m really going to regret that pick aren’t I?
Ángel de Oro, Stigma, Stuka Jr. vs. Dragón Rojo Jr., Puma, Tiger
What to Expect: This should be where we get back to CMLL’s normal level of being pretty good. How good is up to a) what CMLL allows these guys to do and b) how high the effort level is. I can say with a certain level of certainty that at least Stuka and Rojo will be ready to go, and Stuka should be great if his recent trend of performances is any indication. The best bet for this match is that Stigma, hit or miss since returning from injury, has one of his better days while Oro, Puma and Tiger, three talented dudes who arguably could’ve been on the Anniversary Show, go full throttle to show CMLL what they missed out on. If they do that then this will be very good; if they’re allowed to go even further than that then this could be pretty great.
Winners: Normally this would seem like a throwaway match but recent evidence of CMLL Puebla shows suggest otherwise; in fact recently it seems like CMLL has been setting up several important/title matches for their shows around the 3rd or 4th match. Wouldn’t you know it; this match features a champion in Rojo, who has held the CMLL World Middleweight Championship for 1,750 days, or in other words, for over six years! SIX YEARS! I bet you this match is used to set up another title match for him, and with Guerrero Maya Jr. not here the next best choice seems to me to be a red hot Stuka Jr. Thus I’ll predict Stuka giving his team the win in the third fall, followed by him challenging for a title shot and Rojo either declining to set up another trios match next week or the title match next week. You heard it here first.
Mexican National Trios Championships Match
Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto (c) vs. Kráneo, Olímpico, Ripper
What to Expect: Here’s a great example of CMLL using the Monday show to set up big matches. The problem is this match is neither big nor interesting; in fact this feud has the distinction of making the Shocker-UG feud from a month ago look like a Sergio Leone spaghetti western. Nothing has clicked; Ephesto, Luciferno and Mephisto have been turned into technicos (despite the fact that they’re much better rudos) while the rudo team comes complete with a lifeless shell (Ripper), a comedy wrestler (Kráneo) and an over the hill has been who somehow is the most competent luchador on his team. When the lucha equivalent of Hayden Christensen is the best thing you’ve got, you know you’re boned.
And CMLL and us fans are boned here because this match…it’s not going to be good unless Ephesto looks like the guy we just saw at the Anniversary Show and he and Mephisto carry all the action (Luciferno has actually been really good in singles competition, but this isn’t singles so you can’t count on him). That’s not going to happen, so expect this to be a lumbering fifteen minute snooze fest where Kráneo dances without Mije, Ripper does absolutely nothing interesting, the “technicos” look lost and confused and Olímpico somehow is the best performer. In the words of a Duck Dodgers commercial, if Olímpico is this match’s future, we’re history.
Winners: If CMLL gives Kráneo, Ripper and Olímpico the titles then Paco Alonso should fire every member of his staff and himself. Thankfully CMLL isn’t that stupid so you can guarantee Los Infiernos retains here. And please let this be the end of whatever this is. If I have to watch Mephisto carry Ripper’s ass one more time I swear Paco will be getting another nasty letter that he won’t read.
Carístico, Máscara Dorada, Mistico vs. Cavernario, Mr. Niebla, Negro Casas
What to Expect: After that last detour into CMLL’s personal hell, this match returns us to what looks to be some pretty entertaining lucha. Actually it might be even more than that because HOLY CTHULHU THAT TECHNICO TEAM IS LOADED AS HELL! Just look at it; Carístico, Máscara Dorada, Mistico. If there aren’t more than three amazing dives in this match you know someone has screwed up. Thankfully there should be and thankfully the rudo team has a legend and an up and coming star to keep up with them, while Mr. Niebla provides his usual brand of comedy. As long as his antics are kept to a minimum and we get more Carístico-Casas, Dorada/Mistico-Cavernario sequences we should be in for a wild ride, especially since guys will be going full blast now that there’s no big show to worry about. In fact I’ll call it now; this will be the Match of the Evening, unless the main event is used for something other than keeping a storyline that may or may not be real going. Which I suppose is possible. Not likely, but possible.
Winners: The question here is whether CMLL wants to set up an angle here too. That works for many people I’m sure; a one on one match between any combinations of these guys would work well and Carístico vs. Negro Casas in Puebla would probably be a hot ticket. For now I’ll say there is no angle and the technicos will take a highly entertaining match in three falls.
Dragón Lee vs. La Máscara
What to Expect: That’s not a typo folks; the Anniversary Show main event will be done again three days after Dragón Lee took La Máscara’s match in a pretty epic main event. Why are they doing this again? Don’t ask me. I suppose CMLL could be thinking that this match may make fans want to see the original (which they have to pay to see still unless someone else has loaded the matches online), they’re doing the match for people in Puebla who didn’t make the Anniversary Show or they’re hoping that Máscara’s first match unmasked is a unique draw. I’m not sure any of those reasons are good enough to justify doing a rematch so soon and I have trouble believing this will be anywhere close to as epic as the Anniversary Show main event was. Of course that match exceeded almost every expectation people had so perhaps it’s time we start doubting. Who am I kidding; the day wrestling fans stop doubting is the day Pink Floyd reunites and Zeuxis declares her undying love for me. Basically July 11th, 2018.
Here’s something to keep an eye on though; whether or not the aftermath of the Anniversary Show main event factors into this match at all. Unless I’ve missed something it seems pretty clear that Máscara is back with Ingobernables, Rush and Lee are on the outs and all possibilities are endless. I’d be fairly surprised if CMLL actually did something here, especially with these two tangling again Friday in trios action. But you never know and at the worst it’s going to be interesting to see whether Máscara comes out to his current theme music or if the Ingobernables theme is played again. Something as simple as that will get people intrigued for the next chapter.
Winner: There’s two ways this can go; if they play it straight up then Máscara will win to get his win back (the least that can be done for him after he, you know, lost his mask). If CMLL decides to continue the story started at the end of the Anniversary Show, Máscara is still winning. Basically either way Máscara is going to win. Let’s just hope that either CMLL advances those intriguing final moments or let these guys bust loose again to deliver something in the same ballpark as their Anniversary Show epic. If nothing else this is definitely a match to keep an eye on.
We’re done here folks! I’ll be back tomorrow with a review of this show and a preview of CMLL’s Tuesday show. And there may be more! Till next time, here’s your friendly neighborhood luchador Spider-Man quoting The Room.