After weeks of speculation, hope, false hope and everything in between, CMLL finally announced the main event for the 85th Aniversario this afternoon. For better or worse, it’s a match no one was predicting months ago, as rivals turned friends Matt Taven and Volador Jr. will battle Cavernario and Rush in a tag team, hair vs. hair match. It will be a match in a similar vein to Rey Cometa and Stuka vs. Okumura and Namajague back in 2013, where both members of the losing team will be forced to shave their head.
The decision to go with Taven/Volador vs. Cavernario/Rush will likely go down as the most polarizing decision CMLL has made since they neglected to run Atlantis-Ultimo Guerrero at the 80th Aniversario in favor of Volador vs. La Sombra. All four luchadores are great performers capable of putting on a memorable match, and it’s great to see Cavernario rewarded with such a high profile match after his great work over the last several years (though it sucks for Terrible, who was likely to be in Cavernario’s spot before he got injured). But many will be left disappointed that CMLL neglected to go with Rush vs. LA Park, arguably the hottest feud in Mexico right now and a significantly more attractive match than this one. This tag will also lack the drama of Rush vs. Park; whereas the result for that match could’ve gone either way, Taven and Volador will be heavily favored to lose this match due to the value of Rush’s hair and to not devalue a potential Park-Rush match should CMLL finally decide to do it.
So what will LA Park being doing you may ask? He will still be high up on the card, teaming with his son, El Hijo de LA Park, and Caristico to take on King Phoenix (Fenix, Rey Fenix), Penta Zero M (Pentagon Jr., Pentagon Dark) and Diamante Azul in the semi-main event. The match has potential to be great and will be historic regardless; with this match LA Park, Hijo de LA Park, Phoenix and Penta will become the first luchadores since Miguel Perez Jr. in 1994 to compete at AAA’s Triplemania and CMLL’s Aniversario in the same year, yet another amazing accomplishment in a career year for all four luchadores. Even still, Park being relegated to the semi-main is a vast disappointment considering the other possibilities.
The rest of the card ranges from the good, the bad and the uninteresting. Klan Kaoz will indeed be on the show, challenging Euforia, Gran Guerrero and Ultimo Guerrero for the CMLL World Trios Championships in what should be the worst match of the night, barring a miracle from Los Guerreros. Atlantis, Mistico and Soberano Jr. will take on Cuatrero, Forastero and Sanson in a rematch of this week’s Tuesday main event, while last year’s headliner Niebla Roja teams with his brother Angel de Oro and the exciting Audaz to take on Felino, Mr. Niebla and the legendary Negro Casas in the second match. The opener will feature the luchadoras as Jarochita, Marcela and Princesa Sugehit take on Dalys, Maligna and Reyna Isis. Overall, once you get past the disappointment, it looks like the Aniversario will be a fun show. Whether interest will be the same with Taven/Volador vs. Cavernario/Rush as it would’ve been with Park/Rush remains to be seen.
More exciting (and well received) was the other announcements CMLL made at this press conference. The Micro Stars will have their own Aniversario on September 23rd, which should eventually stream on New Japan World (and may very well stream live). The Gran Prix will be returning on October 5th, with New Japan star David Finlay Jr., ROH stars the Briscoe Brothers and IWRG luchador Dark Magic being announced as participants. The final four participants of Team World will be announced later today on CMLL Informa. October will also see the return of acclaimed joshi performer Kaho Kobayashi and the Aniversario for Blue Panther, which should be a hell of a show based off the Atlantis and Negro Casas Aniversario’s. But the biggest announcement was for the August 31st Super Viernes, which will see New Japan star Tetsuya Naito return to Mexico with Los Ingobernables de Japon members BUSHI and EVIL. They will take on Diamante Azul, Volador Jr. and LA Park in a massive trios match, featuring the first ever encounter between Naito and LA Park in their careers. With Expo Lucha and All In taking place that weekend also, CMLL has added yet another must see wrestling event for the weekend.
The CMLL 85th Aniversario will take place on September 14th; no details on a start time or where the show will be streamed were released. Lucha Central will provide updates on those details when made available, and will provide both a preview and live coverage of the Aniversario as it occurs.