I don’t know what to say. I’m speechless. There truly is a first time for everything sports fans! But that’s a good thing when you get big shows as good as the one CMLL delivered tonight. In the grand scheme of things, Homenaje a Dos Leyendas will not go down as the best event of the year and certainly not the best H2L of all time (hell H2L 2000!). But that doesn’t change the fact that it was a damn good show. There were no bad matches, though one match suffered from going only two falls and another came down with a nasty case of Seductora. There were at least three good matches, with CMLL delivering one of their hottest openers in recent memory, a solid fourth match featuring a comeback performance by Atlantis and a tag match that was better than expected…except by me because I expected it to be great. We got to see the dance sequences for the first time in…forever. In a minor miracle, Mil Mascaras’ ceremony lasted only ten minutes and featured the legend thanking women instead of himself! Oh yeah, and there was a mask match that was pretty spectacular. What more could you want sports fans? Well, you could want a pretty good recap of it all, and that’s why I’m here at 1:40 a.m. EST time giving you the goods. So yeah, let’s get cracking so I can get sleeping!
Audaz, Flyer, Star Jr. defeated Disturbio, Templario, Virus two falls to one
Wow! Wow, wow, wow, wow and WOW! What an opener! You’ll excuse me for being this animated but we just don’t get openers like this in CMLL these days. The only thing wrong with it is CMLL didn’t give them more time; five more minutes and a few more high spots and this match is even better! As is, it was still great. The pace was fast from the start, the work was crisp all the way around and all six guys looked terrific. There’s so much good stuff here I don’t even know where to begin; Flyer’s moonsault, the step up running knees by Disturbio, Audaz and Virus tearing it up, Star Jr.’s explosiveness, Templario’s Templario…ness, it was all excellent. CMLL couldn’t have picked a better way to start the show, and they even got the result right with the technicos taking it home decisively. I don’t know if this will serve as a stepping stone for these six, but it definitely should give them another look. Well done guys! I’m prouder than Leela’s parents after she became a superhero.
Dalys, La Seductora, Zeuxis defeated Kaho Kobayashi, Marcela, Princesa Sugehit two falls to one
Compared to the last match’s Lord of the Rings directed by Peter Jackson, this was The Hobbit directed by Peter Jackson. In all honesty I didn’t find it to be that bad…aside from Seductora. My Grodd, I don’t know who the genius was that thought she fit this match but that person needs to be fired immediately. She was either super clunky, forgetting spots, or forgetting spots while being super clunky; there were times I didn’t even think she knew how to move correctly. It was an awful performance that ruined any momentum for the other five luchadoras, who were all good to very good. Dalys, Zeuxis and Kobayashi in particular I thought were on top of their game, with Kobayashi proving to be both a great ragdoll and someone who could break out exciting offense when needed. Unfortunately she didn’t get to really take flight (neither did Zeuxis) and that lack of flying, coupled with Seductora being awful, really hampered this match. It was probably better than I and many others thought, but it was still a step down.
Dragón Lee, Mistico, Rush defeated Forastero, Máscara Año 2000, Sansón two falls to none
If you thought CMLL screwed the opening match on time then you were in for a treat here. Unless I looked down for five minutes and missed a whole lot of shit, this match went two falls and was over just when things were picking up. It was like that new Fantastic Four movie, although not really because this was good before the abrupt ending. The heat for the Munoz’ was off the charts, with Mistico getting Roman Reigns heat with Rush not far behind, Dragón Lee was pretty electric (if toned down due to the lack of time) and my Grodd that Rush-Máscara Año 2000 sequence was actually kind of fun. The problem is the match seemed built towards giving them all the shine while the Dinamitas got a few double teams before taking their medicine. Very odd. I guess we needed more time for dance sequences, the main event and Mil Máscaras’ never ending speech. Either way it was fun and heated while it lasted, but I thought they could’ve done more with the Dinamitas than they did.
Atlantis, Matt Taven, Niebla Roja defeated Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero two falls to one
We did not start strong with this match, not because of bad wrestling mind you, but because the stream for the show actually died! I guess those WON voters who wanted to check out the third best weekly show of 2017 were flooding the stream and thus the lucha community was forced to endure what HBO viewers felt like during the last Sopranos episode. In fact, here’s a live look at the internet’s reaction when the blackout happened.
Luckily the stream came back before we missed anything and we got to see the bulk of this match, which was quite good. As expected, the Guerreros kept things grounded while the technicos hopped around, including Atlantis, who looked the healthiest he has since returning from injury. He finally nailed a plancha off the top rope, which was just an appetizer for Niebla Roja doing his best Volador impression and Matt Taven finally nailing a dive that was caught properly (naturally, it was Euforia doing the dive). Throw in a few well timed Taven kicks (he was very sharp in this match), the UG and Atlantis working their magic and this was some very, very solid lucha. I maybe would’ve given it a little more time and a few more flashy moves, but overall there’s not much to complain about here. Most importantly though, Atlantis does look to be healthy, which is great because a world without a healthy Atlantis is…can we not talk about this now?!
CMLL World Tag Team Championship Match
Valiente & Volador Jr. defeated Rey Bucanero & Terrible two falls to one
I like to think of myself as a humble guy, one who is big enough to not say I told you so when he’s OH MY GRODD I COULDN’T FINISH THAT WITH A STRAIGHT FACE! I TOLD YOU; I TOLD YOU ALL THIS MATCH WOULD BE GOOD! This is what happens when you doubt Big Show CMLL and Big Match Bucanero; you end up wrong and wondering why you thought otherwise to begin with. I will admit that I was worried during the first two falls, when Rey Rey Buc looked every bit as slow and broken down as he does on a normal CMLL show. Then the third fall happened and I realized how stupid I was. What a third fall! It had the makings of every big CMLL match; hot crowd, big moves, high effort and high drama. As expected Rey Rey Buc came up big, not necessarily in delivering moves but bumping his ass off to make Volador and Valiente look good. Terrible and Volador were the anchors of the match, not necessarily delivering their biggest moves but making sure they were always moving and always in the right place. But the MVP was Valiente, which frankly isn’t that surprising. The veteran always shows up for big CMLL shows, both by breaking out the Valiente Special and providing nonstop energy. He was so good, he got a Valiente Chant going; when’s the last time that happened?! In the end, it was exactly the high quality match I expected and wanted, with the only shock being that Valiente and Volador won. I guess someone will be losing a title soon, but that’s a discussion for another time. If you like sensible booking, CMLL gave it to you by not having the makeshift team win. If you like great wrestling, hot damn you got that too with the outstanding back and forth third fall. A fantastic tag match, to the surprise of everyone except me I guess!
Mask vs. Mask Match
Cuatrero defeated Ángel de Oro two falls to one
Let’s get the nicks and picks out of the way; yes, Cuatrero and Oro messed up what looked to be a hurricanrana turned into a sitout powerbomb spot in the third fall. It was a mistake, there’s no way around that. Take that away though and, much like Niebla Roja vs. Gran Guerrero at the Aniversario, we got a killer match. It started off in spectacular fashion with Oro taking a death bump by missing a suicide dive and flying face first into the barricade; he must have the neck of Kota Ibushi and Tomohiro Ishii combined because how he survived that beats the hell out of me. Cuatrero took advantaged and pummeled Oro for the rest of the fall (he even powerbombed him onto the floor at one point), with Oro only recovering in fall two to just tie it up. From there, well it was exactly what we expected and wanted; big move followed by big move, a raucous, pro Cuatrero Arena Mexico crowd, Oro breaking out the Sasuke Special and several well executed near falls between Oro, Cuatrero and referee Edgar (thankfully in there instead of Tirantes). In terms of match quality it wasn’t quite as exciting as Roja-Guerrero was (and that was even before the powerbomb botch) but it was an impeccable, fun, dramatic match that gave you exactly what you wanted considering the stakes. It also gave us Cuatrero’s first big win and the reveal that Ángel de Oro is in fact 29 year old Miguel Angel Chavez Velasco.
Now let me say this; the match quality may not have been quite on the level of Roja-GG, but the one place it had it beat by miles was in emotion. I already touched on how great the crowd was, but there’s more to it than that. Like the seconds for example; Sansón (dressed in his Sunday best) clearly has been taking lessons at the Negro Casas school for seconding, sometimes stealing the show with his high energy outbursts and frantic cheering for his brother. That he was almost topped by Roja says a lot about Roja’s haunted, nauseous look on his face the whole match, selling every near escape and near miss as if he’d just watched the Futarama episode Jurassic Bark. And then there was the post match, which saw Oro call his father and mother to the ring; his embrace with his mother nearly had me in tears, an emotionally moving moment that should touch even the coldest of hearts (and for those with cold hearts, they even got something in the form of Cuatrero mocking the tears). Part of the reason the Apuesta match means so much in Mexico isn’t just because of the history of great matches, but the emotional resonance they carry. This match had that in a way I did not expect and thank Grodd because it made it a moment I won’t soon forget. I don’t know if we’ll remember Ángel de Oro vs. Cuatrero as a Match of the Year Candidate; hell it may not have even been the match of the night. But we will remember it and the emotion it brought to the table, and dammit that’s good enough for me. Well done to both men; it was a tremendous, moving effort that should at least make Cuatrero into a big star. You know, as if he wasn’t going to be one already!
And with that, I need sleep! I’ll see you guys tomorrow for a review of AAA’s show from Cuernavaca. Till then, a gif of Troy Barnes crying because that’s how I was when Oro and his mother hugged!
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