It’s time! It’s time! It’s CMLL International Grand Prix time! Yes sports fans, one of CMLL’s biggest events of the calendar year is happening just a day from now and I am excited, both because this is a big show and because it’ll be a CMLL show that’s likely very good! And those are hard to come by these days you know? At least for tomorrow though the effort level will be up, the crowd will be hot for the marquee Grand Prix match in the main event and, quite frankly, every match except the opener and the semi-main would have a shot to be good on a normal show. I don’t know if this will be one of the best events CMLL does all year but I wouldn’t be stunned at all if it was, and that more than anything has me stoked. So what are we waiting for; let’s break this bad boy down.

 

 

La Jarochita & Marcela vs. Dalys & Metálica

 

What to Expect: I look at this match, I see Dalys and Metálica are in it, I remember the last time the two wrestled against each other and I immediately want to just pop in Final Fantasy X and forget about wrestling. I don’t care if they are a tag team; after that debacle of a match a few weeks ago I don’t want to see Dalys or Metálica doing anything together in the ring again. It was that bad and I wouldn’t be surprised if this match is either, though to be fair that’s more because this is a CMLL luchadoras match than anything else. I’m sure the effort level will be up because it’s a big show and technically all four of these luchadoras are capable. I just have no faith in a luchadoras match in CMLL anymore, unless it involves Kaho Kobayashi, Avispa Dorada or Zeuxis. And Zeuxis ain’t even there anymore. Please come back and save us Queen!

 

Winners: Dalys and Metálica win in three falls. Somehow.

 

Atlantis Jr., Audaz, Flyer vs. Hijo del Villano III, Rey Bucanero, Tiger

 

What to Expect: If only CMLL had decided not to give Hechicero the day off, put him in this match and sent Rey Bucanero packing faster than CMLL did Monday night for the Puebla Grand Prix.

 

 

Seriously, why does CMLL keep doing shit like this? They have so many talented rudos they can put into these spots to make matches better, and they just keep sticking broken down dudes like Rey Rey Buc and why am I getting frustrated about things I already know the answer to? Frankly none of this matters because the match should still be pretty good. Yes Rey Rey Buc isn’t what he once was and yes Hijo del Villano III can range from promising to “does he do anything but stand there?” in a matter of seconds. But Tiger is great, Flyer has been really good since returning to streaming the last few weeks and I could keep us here all day raving about Atlantis Jr. and Audaz. The former has shown some real promise this year in such a short time and Audaz, save for this past Tuesday, is always one of the most exciting luchadores in CMLL’s arsenal. Given their talent I’m pretty sure Bucanero and Villano could just stand around, let the three technicos do their thing with Tiger sprinkling a few cool moments in and this would be a good time. Here’s hoping.

 

Winners: The technicos get the W in three falls after Atlantis Jr. defeats Rey Bucanero for a big win. Hopefully it’s not with Atlantida though (he’s struggled with that) and if it is hopefully he’s learned to put it on properly.

 

Microman vs. Chamuel

 

What to Expect: I shit you not when I say this match will be the biggest match of the night for some fans. Ironic because it features arguably the smallest member of the CMLL roster. The story is this sports fans; back in April of 2017 CMLL officially launched the Microstars division for luchadores who were smaller than the mini-estrellas CMLL employed. Among them was Microman, the son of legendary CMLL second KeMonito, and Chamuel, who quickly emerged as the two breakout stars of the division as the Microstars wowed audiences with some really fun matches. But while they were frequently opponents no feud developed between Microman and Chamuel for two years…until a few weeks ago when Chamuel fouled Microman at the end of the match. And that sports fans is how Microman vs. Chamuel, one on one, came to be.

 

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There’s even more to it than that sports fans. Not only is this the first Microstars feud CMLL has produced, not only is it the first Microstars one on one match that CMLL has produced, but it’s also the first singles match of Microman’s career if you don’t count triple threat matches (Chamuel has wrestled a handful of singles bouts on the independent circuit). This is a historic match and it has potential Aniversario ramifications given Chamuel and Microman are feuding so close to the big show. It’s a lot of pressure, and it’s the only thing keeping me from being 100% excited for this match. The good thing is I’m still at 99% excited for it! Even in some of the weaker Microstar matches Microman and Chamuel have always stood out together, two workers who have perfect timing and chemistry between them. With the spotlight now to themselves that should only be magnified, even if this one fall match (presumably) won’t give them as much time as they’d like. As long as the pressure doesn’t get to these two and they get at least 9 minutes, this should be super fun and a great preview for what could be the marquee match (for most of us at least) at the 86th Aniversario in a few weeks.

 

Winner: With another match on the horizon this bout should be about establishing Chamuel as a dirty rotten scoundrel who Microman has to seek revenge on. Thus I’ll go with Chamuel winning this after sneaking in a foul, followed by some mask vs. mask challenges for the Aniversario.

 

Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Valiente vs. Cuatrero, Sansón, Templario

 

What to Expect: Not a whole lot to this one sports fans as this is basically your garden variety CMLL trios match featuring three talented technicos and three talented rudos. That’s a-okay with me, especially on a big show when the effort levels for all six performers will be up. This is especially important in the case of Valiente. On a normal CMLL show I’d be worried about his mid level effort bringing down what would otherwise be a fun match between Oro, Roja, Templario and the Dinamitas. Valiente always steps up in big occasions though and that coupled with the always reliable Chavez brothers and the otherworld talent of Cuatrero, Sansón and Templario should be enough to elevate this match into one of the better matches on the show. Hell it may even be the best, though that may not speak well for the rest of the card if that occurs.

 

Winners: I like the technicos in this one. They take it in three falls after Roja pins Templario with that Avalanche Double Underhook Driver of his.

 

Carístico, Mistico, Último Guerrero vs. Ciber the Main Man, Gil Muertes, Titán

 

What to Expect: Remember a few weeks ago when CMLL foolishly put Carístico and Mistico in a trios match looking to build up Ciber the Main Man vs. Último Guerrero, and instead the crowd went nuts for the Carístico-Mistico sequences while treating Ciber-UG like the “Enzo and Cass might return to NXT” news? I guess the lesson CMLL learned from that was to put them in another Ciber-UG match, only this time they’re teammates. The good news is now no one will cheer for that stare down over Ciber-UG; the bad news is no one will now cheer anything at all because Ciber-UG is the X-Men: Dark Phoenix of this wrestling year. Actually that’s unfair because even Dark Phoenix disappeared after awhile, whereas this feud goes on forever like Deep Purple’s “Child in Time.” Maybe CMLL will finally make this match official for the Aniversario after this match or maybe CMLL will finally nip this atrocity in the bud for good. All I know is I won’t care a lick about anything that goes on, despite the fact that there are some talented performers involved.

 

Winners: Team UG wins after Ciber is DQ’d for a foul, challenges made, NEXT!

 

CMLL Internacional Grand Prix

Cavernario, Diamante Azul, Dragón Lee, Forastero, Negro Casas, Rush, Soberano Jr., Volador Jr. vs. Big Daddy Yum Yum, Delirious, Jay Briscoe, Kenny King, Luke Hawx, Matt Taven, Mecha Wolf 450, Oraculo

 

What to Expect: Here’s the International Grand Prix sports fans! For those coming into this match for the first time, the Grand Prix is a now yearly CMLL event that puts a team of CMLL luchadores from Mexico against a team from around around the world; in the past that team has had a diverse international flavor but this year is made up of mostly American’s. The two teams then take each other on in a cibernetico match (basically Survivor Series match done in a fast paced lucha libre style), with each team being whittled down until only one remains to win the Gran Prix for themselves and by extension their team. That newcomers is the CMLL International Gran Prix.

 

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So nice I used the gif twice!

 

Now beyond all that jazz the only other things one needs to know is a) this match will be heated and b) it will mostly likely be good. Last year’s Grand Prix turned out to be weaker than many of us thought but that was an outlier; every other Grand Prix match I’ve witnessed has been great to exceedingly great. I would lean towards this match being somewhere in that realm. Sure there are concerns; Soberano’s left shoulder is banged up, Diamante Azul is always a question mark, I’m not really familiar with Big Daddy Yum Yum (he could be good, he could not be good) and Delirious coming in for Mark Briscoe is like going from Double Indemnity to Tough Guys Don’t Dance.  But overall the Rest of the World team is still really strong with really good performers like Jay Briscoe, the long underappreciated Luke Hawx, Matt Taven, Mecha Wolf 450 and Oraculo hanging around. Meanwhile, as long as Soberano is healthy that CMLL team, minus Azul, is awesome; hell it’s possible this may be the most popular CMLL team in recent Grand Prix history thanks to the involvement of Negro Casas, who should get one of the biggest reactions of the year from the crowd. And that crowd will be molten hot already, both because of the stakes and because the Mexican National Anthem will be played before hand to stir up some of that good ole patriotism. No matter what way you slice it this match is a big deal sports fans and a complete spectacle that only CMLL can provide. Maybe it won’t be one of the best matches of the year (though I do think it has a shot) but it’ll 100% be fun to watch for the most part and something you should definitely check out.

 

Winner(s): Team CMLL has won both previews of the Grand Prix thus far in Arena Puebla and Arena Guadalajara; that suggests that the Rest of the World Team will get the W here and current ROH Champion (and long time CMLL visitor) Taven would make sense as a winner. Of course Taven’s deal with ROH is also expiring soon, he’s really the only one who’d make sense to win it from the Rest of the World Team and other than last year Team CMLL wins this every year. So let’s play it safe sports fans. CMLL wins the Grand Prix yet again, with Rush (who usually never makes it past the midway point in this match) pinning Taven to get the trophy and to further set up his clash with Taven that’s quickly approaching in ROH. It just makes sense all around!

 

There you have it sports fans. The Grand Prix is apparently not airing live so look for a review of the show to pop up at some point this weekend; I would anticipate Sunday given that my (and everyone else’s) attention will be focused on AEW’s All Out this Saturday night. TILL WE MEET AGAIN!

 

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