Against my better judgment, I was actually kind of excited for tonight’s CMLL Puebla show; so excited I almost did a preview for it. I know; when’s the last time I did one of those for a Monday show? Alas I didn’t get to it and now I’m happy I didn’t. What began as a night of lucha that had my curiosity slowly saw my spirits go colder than that new Temple Lucha Underground has relocated to. I’d tell you more about how this happened, but…actually I will be doing that; I just don’t want to give it all away in the intro. I really gotta stop using this kind of joke in the opening. But that’s okay because I’m about to kick this one off by quoting Queen. GET ON YOUR BIKES AND LUCHA!
Asturiano, Astro, Black Tiger defeated Mini Joker, King Jaguar, Saurón two falls to one
I guess the Dark Lord Saurón took a liking to lucha libre in his match last week because he was back at it in Puebla today. Unfortunately he continues to show signs that he was much better at being a large eye that stared at things than he is a luchador. Lords of the Rings villains aside, this was a really strange opener, not in the least because it featured stuff I (gulp) actually liked. Asturiano was far more active than usual, Astro got back into the groove after an off week on last week’s show; even Black Tiger, a man who got far more minutes than I would’ve liked, had what I would call a good performance. Unfortunately for those three, they a) collectively peaked at the end of fall one when Tiger launched Astro for a Monkey Flip/Sunset Flip rollup combo while Asturiano destroyed Joker and a fan with front row dive and b) got no hope from the rudos, with Jaguar coasting, Joker getting nothing to do and Saurón…like I said, he makes a better eye than a luchador. The match also seemed to go on for forever, which would’ve been fine if everything had been like that one minute period in the first fall. Alas. Not a bad match by any means, but for the length it got, you’d expect more, especially when one side is doing so much. This is why Saurón lost I tell you; a true leader has his team motivated. You didn’t see that here, did you?
Cancerbero, El Malayo, Raziel defeated Ares, Arkalis, Millenium two falls to one
Unless you’re someone who always wanted to see Ares wrestle as a technico (and let’s be real; most people don’t want to see Ares wrestle at all) then this match was basically a weaker version of the opener; a few good spots here and there followed by an absolute abyss. And really the good stuff here was only good because it was surprising. Would you ever think that Malayo could walk the ropes for an arm drag? I certainly didn’t, nor did I think Arkalis could base for him correctly. Save for that spot and a few non mailed in tag moments from Cancerbero and Raziel, everything else was either dull or comically bad, like Arkalis’ Swanton Bomb attempt that completely missed…whoever it was he was aiming for. See, that’s how boring this was; I CAN’T EVEN REMEMBER WHO ARKALIS WAS TRYING TO HIT! The point is he missed the mark, just like the match. How’s that for summing it up?!
Stuka, Titán, Tritón defeated Kawato San, Misterioso Jr., Sagrado two falls to one
We were a replacement for Stuka and Misterioso away from this match being something. Or I suppose we were one non Stuka/Misterioso pairing away from this being something. I’ve seen these guys wrestle each other what has to be over 9,000 times by this point and they’ve never looked as off together as they did tonight. Stuka had some moments of clarity (I liked his Asai Moonsault), but he also had moments where he nearly tripped heading to the top rope, while Misterioso was so off I kept waiting for him to pull his mask off and reveal himself as Mr. Niebla. And really, he was one hard ass bump on the floor away from everyone wondering that and this gif being a 100% reflection on his performance.
Luckily for those two everyone else was just fine and made this match watchable, if not entirely exciting. It’s always great to see old friends Titán and Tritón working together and while they didn’t have any high end double team moments, both guys looked really good individually if slightly toned down. Meanwhile Sagrado continued his streak of impressive performances (his work with Tritón continues to one hope CMLL gets around to giving them a singles match one day) and, for the first time since his arrival, Kawato looked somewhat comfortable in a trios match! I mean he wasn’t fully there yet as he still seems really aloof during the triple team spots, but he was picking things up better and his individual work was really good; CMLL deserves some credit for putting him with Titán, a guy familiar with the New Japan style and someone good enough that he could provide Kawato someone solid to work off of. I’m not sure it was the type of “WOW” performance Kawato should have eventually, but it’s a sign of progress nonetheless. Solid stuff from him, Sagrado, Titán and Tritón; it’s a shame Misterioso and Stuka were off on their own respective planets.
Mistico, Rush, Soberano Jr. defeated Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto two falls to one
Yet another match that felt strange. Or maybe it was normal and I’ve just had my mind warped by playing too much Batman: Arkham Knight? Whatever the case I personally found this to be very similar to the opener; pretty good in spots, boring in others and way, WAY too long. It makes you wonder if maybe there was some stalling or something. The one good thing I can say about this match is that it set up a promising match in Soberano vs. Mephisto. When the match was clicking it involved those two, with Soberano trying his hardest while Mephisto based very well for him. I’d normally be wary of this type of match in Arena Puebla, but Mephisto is coming off an outstanding match with Titán just a few weeks ago and Soberano will try hard anywhere; you could put him in my driveway and he’ll give a performance the likes of which haven’t been seen since Edward Norton in Kingdom of Heaven. So props to CMLL for putting this together for (presumably) next week. I would’ve preferred they had used a better platform than a match where Mistico coasted and Rush turned back into the Rush he was before last Friday’s renaissance with Terrible, but as I always say with CMLL, you take what you can and give nothing back. Alright I don’t always say that but I will be starting now. It’s time to make some changes dammit!
Último Guerrero defeated Atlantis two falls to one
I’m probably going to get flack for this but so what; I really liked this match through the first fifteen minutes! It was by no means perfect; on the contrary, compared to their previous encounters this was was a very different match due to Atlantis still being unable to do a whole hell of a lot. And yet, despite some sluggish moments and some imperfections, it was still a lot of fun, partially because it was so weird and different. Atlantis and UG definitely have a routine and while it’s good, it does get old after you’ve seen it a few times. But because Atlantis is still getting himself back into shape, they didn’t do that here; instead the story became one of weak Atlantis trying to overcome his woes with some good ole fighting spirit, while the UG was the dastardly rudo so dastardly that Tirantes, the rudo ref to end all rudo refs, ended up turning on him and tried hard to help Atlantis win. Throw in a few classic spots, Atlantis doing just enough and the UG being the charismatic dynamo he is and I was overall left enjoying myself…until the end when Tirantes did a complete 180 and helped the UG win.
Now in CMLL’s defense, Atlantis did shove Tirantes right before this and oh who am I kidding? There is no defense! I know Tirantes thinks he’s a hot shit and all and this isn’t the first, nor most egregious, moment of his refereeing career but come on; how do you go from being against one guy the whole match and then suddenly turn the other way with little warning at the end? It completely undercut the solid story the match was telling and instantly made me go from really liking the match to wondering what the hell I am doing with my life. It was that bad and ultimately more of the same from Tirantes. The story going into this match was could Atlantis still go. The story during the match was that Atlantis still has a ways to go, but at least with someone as great as the UG they can get by on charisma and solid storytelling. Fitting that in the end the story was about neither Atlantis nor UG, but the dumb official in suspenders. The day CMLL fires Tirantes will be a day of rejoicing. And no, I don’t understand why it took me so long to get this mad at him for this shit. Must just be Arkham Knight withdrawal.
And with that, I’m off to scratch that itch by whooping Jason Todd’s ass. Whoops, spoiler alert! Never fear though as I’ll be back tomorrow with a review of the Tuesday show. Till we meet again, THIS!
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