Last Friday was a weird one for CMLL; not only did they get completely overshadowed by AAA for the first time in eons, but their weekly Super Viernes show wasn’t even that good outside of a really strong second match. Luckily it looks like that will be a mirage, as this week AAA is off and CMLL is loading up for one of their low key big shows of the year in the form of the Arena Mexico Aniversario. This will be the 62nd Anniversary of the “cathedral of lucha libre” and CMLL is rolling out the big guns; every match on this show save one looks to be good to potentially great. Of course the one show no one cares for is the one CMLL has been building up the most, something that could only happen in CMLL! It’s like that guy says in that movie though; take what you can, give nothing back. Oh and preview the show before it’s too late and you’re too tired to do so. On with the show!
Audaz, Drone, Tritón vs. Okumura, Tiger, Virus
What to Expect: Titán was actually going to be in this match originally; then Dragón Lee’s leg injury put him out of action, Titán moved up to take his place and now Drone gets his spot here. Ultimately it doesn’t matter because this match will still be the bomb. Yes Drone is still dealing with the dark cloud of re-enacting Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas during FantasticaMania and Okumura is, well, Okumura (solid, steady and unspectacular), but Tiger is great, Tritón is beyond great and this match is going to be 60% Audaz and Virus going at it full throttle. I don’t think I need to remind you of how that usually goes. Throw in the slight possibility that Tritón and Audaz try to outdo each other because they’re bat shit crazy and ultra athletic, and this match should easily continue the 2018 tradition of the Friday night opener being pretty good to WHAT DID I JUST SEE?! Note to Tritón; if you are by some chance reading this, I will pay whatever the price if you and Audaz do synchronized Dragonrana’s off the apron together. All the monies Tritón; all the monies.
Winners: I am not in doubt so, for once, I am not picking the rudos to win the opener! The streak is over I suppose. Audaz and co. take this in three falls after Audaz submits Virus with that gorgeous rolling armbar of his.
Soberano Jr., Stuka Jr., Titán vs. Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
What to Expect: You know there’s at least one lucha fan out there who has only seen the opening match of this show and thinks he can cool down during the second bout.
Turns out the second match is even crazier! You’ve got the Dinamitas on one side and then have one of their favorite opponents in Soberano and the electrifying Tritón on the other side. Only Stuka stands out as not quite being on the level and that’s only because of who else is in this match. When Stuka Jr. is the third best guy on your trios team, it’s usually a good sign. And this match is loaded with good signs. Barring injury, a lack of time or these six inexplicably deciding to take the match off (and come on, when have you known Soberano to take a match off?) this should be exquisite and our second straight Match of the Evening contender.
Winners: It could go either way but, considering how big a show it is PLUS the NGD’s status in CMLL, I like the rudos to take it home. They win in three falls after Forastero breaks out his long lost ramp running springboard dropkick into the ring on Titán. My Grodd that was a mouthful.
Hair vs. Hair Match
Princesa Sugehit vs. La Seductora
What to Expect: It’s the only match on this show no one cares about…which is amazing because it’s also the match CMLL wants you to care about the most. It didn’t have to be this way; Sugehit vs. Zeuxis at the 84th Aniversario proved that CMLL can pull off great Apuesta matches featuring the luchadoras. Unfortunately they chose the wrong duo for this bout. That may sound a little unfair to Sugehit and it probably is; she’s a very solid overall worker who can be excellent with the right dance partner. But she’s not a performer who can carry things to greatness by herself (look at her run in the Mae Young Classic if you don’t believe me) and she most certainly doesn’t have the right opponent in Seductora, who last had a good match…wait, has she ever had a good match? I sure as hell haven’t seen it and I don’t see her starting with this match. I’m sure both will try very hard and frankly I don’t think this will be as big a disaster as some may think. But anyone who believes this match will be great is fooling themselves. Seductora is a below average performer, the buildup to this feud has been lame and outside of CMLL or anyone who is an immediate family member of either of these luchadoras, I can’t see who is interested in it. The best hope is CMLL does what they did with both of Pierroth’s Apuesta matches last year and keeps it short, allowing the rest of the matches on this show to get more time to work their magic.
Winner: There’s a better chance of a Buffy, Season 8 announcement, Infinity War being beaten by A Quiet Place at the box office and Bill Cosby finally growing a soul then there is of Seductora winning this match. She’s got no shot. Thus Sugehit will win this match in three falls, take Seductora’s hair and…who the hell knows what she’ll do with it? I sure as hell don’t want to know!
Ángel de Oro, Diamante Azul, Niebla Roja vs. Hechicero, Rey Bucanero, Terrible
What to Expect: I guess you could argue this match is another one you could take or leave on this show. But you know what; I’m feeling optimistic here. Niebla Roja is an awesome worker. Ángel de Oro is…not, but he’s been a lot better since losing the mask and will probably step things up on the bigger show. And who can resist the call of Big Show Terrible and BIG SHOW HECHICERO?! Remember how good Hechi was in that throwaway match at the Aniversario last year? He does not take big shows off and I wouldn’t be shocked if he willed this into something pretty solid. Yes there’s still Diamante Azul and Rey Rey Buc to deal with, but you know Azul will at least give you a Monkey Flip or two while Bucanero will at least give a spirited effort. So yeah; I don’t mind this match at all. I think it surprises people and winds up being pretty solid, if not on the level of some of the other matches.
Winners: I really must be feeling optimistic because I’m picking the technicos to win this one too! They take it in three falls as Oro and Roja tap out Hechi and Rey Rey Buc with their submissions. And yes, there will be a lot of groaning from the internet as Hechicero taps out. It’s Hechicero; we all react emotionally when he’s involved.
Kráneo vs. Rush
What to Expect: If you had told me a month ago this match would be happening…actually it wouldn’t have surprised me at all. This is CMLL sports fans! They gave The Artist Formerly Pierroth not one but TWO Apuesta matches last year, just because they’re batshit insane like that. The story of this one is a tad bit different; Kráneo has long been the fun loving rudo of CMLL, only they decided he would probably be better suited as the fun loving technico a month ago. Along with that came a few betrayals of Rush and The Artist Formerly Known as Pierroth in trios matches and kaboom; here we are. I wouldn’t call this story Shakespeare or anything but it’s at least better than the story of two men the crowd hate going against each other in cage match all the way out in Saudi Arabia because it would literally get booed anywhere else. Good thing there’s nothing like that going on right now…
Anyways, the mediocre buildup to this match aside, I actually like the prospects of it being not just good, but potentially really good. In fact, the biggest hurdle to it being good would be the guy you wouldn’t expect; Rush. Kráneo is a big guy and mostly a comedic wrestler, but he’s an underrated worker overall and of his singles matches I’ve never seen one that was bad. In fact most of them I’ve seen have been pretty good! Throw in the fact that he’ll have a point to prove (this is his first big singles match as a technico after all) and I wouldn’t underestimate him. It just comes down to whether Rush sees this match as something he can sink his teeth into or not. I think he will, I think we see the high end of a match with the usual Rush tropes (lots of brawling and drink throwing) and I think this will be fairly enjoyable, if not really good.
Winner: Kráneo actually has a shot in this one considering it’s not an Apuesta match. That said…I still have a hard time believing Rush is losing this one. He’s so much higher on the food chain than Kráneo and frankly, I’d rather they’d put this angle to bed now so we could move on to something bigger for the time in between now and the Aniversario. So look for the Los Ingobernables leader to win this in three falls, with some shenanigans possible in the deciding fall to help him put the big man away.
Atlantis, Mistico, Volador Jr. vs. Cavernario, Negro Casas, Último Guerrero
What to Expect: Well for one thing you can expect Mistico to get booed out of the building considering the type of show this is. Otherwise I think this should also be pretty good. Now yes; this is a main event match after a big singles bout, which usually leads to the luchadores working like this.
That said this isn’t your average Friday night show! This is the Arena Mexico Aniversario, which means you’re not getting the usual low brow effort you’d get from main event trios following a singles bout. I expect all six of these men to give as good an effort as they can and, barring CMLL just giving them no time, this should be pretty good. The only thing that worries me is Atlantis; he still has not looked the same since he came back from injury and it’s fair to ask now if his best days are long behind him. Even still he’ll be trying, he’s found a way to have decent sequences even with the limited amount of offense he can do and my goodness he’s surrounded by such good talent it shouldn’t matter anyway. I have all the faith in the world these six will close the show just fine.
Winners: We’re all going home happy sports fans. The technicos take it in three falls, with Volador hitting a Super Rana on Cavernario while Mistico submits Casas with La Mistica. You heard it here first.
That’ll do it. I’ll see you tomorrow sports fans, both for this review and for a special other column that should be dropping in the morning. Don’t miss it. Till them, get on the level and demand they #FreeNeville.
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