For the first time since inexplicably being voted the 8th best weekly wrestling show of 2017, CMLL returned to Arena Puebla. And I think I speak for everyone when I say they proved those people who voted for it were…well they were on something. This wasn’t a bad show by any means, but it was the usual CMLL wackiness. There were matches filled with good efforts being thwarted by bad efforts. Luchadors tried things they shouldn’t have. Mije got tossed around like a hand tossed pizza. Matt Taven and Mr. Niebla had a battle for my heart and soul (I’ll explain later). And good Grodd, I’m still not sure what happened in the main event. It was such a CMLL Puebla show that the only thing I could do was sit back, watch and then crack a bunch of Dodgeball jokes in honor of CMLL being numero ocho. The best part; you now get to see how that all came together to create this column. Maybe you’ll be lacking in sanity just like me by the end! Let’s find out together, while Ozzy Osborne’s live rendition of “Crazy Train” (with the late Randy Rhoads on lead guitar) blares through your mind’s speakers.

Astro & Millenium defeated Mini Joker & Saurón two falls to one

 

Note to all failed fictional evil conquerors out there; changing things up and trying to get into lucha libre is perhaps not the best idea. Just ask the Dark Lord Saurón, who tonight showed that maybe he should’ve just created another ring of power via proxy and tried to enslave Middle Earth against instead of trying his hand at wrestling. He wasn’t bad per say, but he also did next to nothing…actually that fits considering all he did before was stare at a mountain. Fortunately for Saurón he wasn’t the only one not doing much; Millenium tried his hand at a 450 and failed miserably, while Joker and Astro both looked good, only they didn’t really get a whole lot of time to look good. Throw in The Ultimate Deletion distracting everyone (for better or worse) and this match never had a chance. Though I guess we can say it was cool that a parody of wrestling went on at the same time a Batman villain and a giant red eye turned luchador teamed together. Pro wrestling; it’s weird as holy hell!

 

Arkalis, Astral, Eléctrico defeated Hijo del Signo, Perverso, Policeman two falls to one

 

This match can best be summed up by an attempted spot in fall one, where Arkalis decided to be like Volador and attempt a top rope Spanish Fly on Policeman. Unfortunately for Arkalis, he’s not Volador, Policeman is certainly not a guy you’d think could take a top rope Spanish Fly well and this spot ended just as you’d expect. Shocking I know.

 

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I’ll give the match this much though; all three technicos were trying their asses off. In addition to the Spanish Fly attempt, Arkalis worked the match with an energy I’ve never seen from him before; it’s as if he decided this was the most important match of his life and had to go all out, or someone had offered him a million dollars to wrestle his best match ever. It still may not have been that, but at least he was trying, while Astral and Eléctrico put in solid efforts as always (I especially loved some of Astral’s dodges). It wasn’t enough and never was going to be with Signo sleepwalking, Policeman being Policeman and Perverso…did he even do anything aside from a second rope leg drop? But hey, you’ve got to appreciate the hustle of the technicos and they worked as hard as they could to make this respectable. It was like Alicia Vikander in the new Tomb Raider film I suppose, except a) Vikander is way better at her job than Arkalis and Eléctrico are at theirs and b) she had even less to work with. You think Walton Goggins went into Tomb Raider looking to do anything more than collect his paycheck? Yeah and I’m the lead singer of a reunited Nirvana.

 

Blue Panther Jr., Drone, Stigma defeated Kawato San, Puma, Tiger two falls to one

 

It was at this point in the show that I began to wonder if I had wandered into the Earth-2 version of CMLL. I mean how else could you explain the technicos winning the first three matches?! That only happens…no wait, it doesn’t happen. Well I guess it does now when it involves Stigma in his hometown arena. And unfortunately that played too big a part in the match, as I predicted. There wasn’t anything wrong with the match on the whole, and at times it crackled with the energy you’d expect with Junior and Drone going against Puma, Tiger and Kawato (who again looked pretty good, despite sluggish attempts at a Double Stomp and a Frog Splash). In the end it was just too much Stigma, who did a suicide dive, a Backpack Stunner to close it out and little else. Le sigh. I’m all for the good guys winning, but maybe next time I can go to Earth-3 where Stigma isn’t treated like the Bob to Arena Puebla’s Jack Napier. It’s about time someone else be the number one…AGUY! I’ll see myself out.

 

Kráneo defeated Euforia

 

You know…I don’t know what to make of this match, a match I thought at one point was a three fall match, then thought it was a Lightning Match as it happened and…well I’m still not sure what it was! Ditto for the match quality. At times I thought Kráneo and Big Euf had a lot of fun moments, notably when Euforia was tossing around Mije, when Kráneo was diving on top of Euforia and Mije and…alright pretty much everything that involved Mije. At other times it felt like this match was dragging and Kráneo at some points looked more gassed than an NHL Grinder at the end of a three minute long shift. I’m no expert, but I say if you put all that together it would lead to what we’d call a mixed bag. Yeah, that sounds about right for this match. Some of it worked, some of it didn’t. Let’s move on.

 

Ángel de Oro, Matt Taven, Niebla Roja defeated Cuatrero, Mr. Niebla, Sansón two falls to one

 

The best part of this match and potentially the best part of this show was the faceoff between Mr. Niebla and Matt Taven. My Grodd; there has never been a more unlikely CMLL pair that has entertained me as much as these two did. I mean for starters, how about all that hair?! You’ve got Taven’s weird ass cut going against Niebla’s majestic fake afro, which right there immediately grabs your interest. Then you follow it up with Taven and Niebla somehow clicking for some good sequences, ending with Niebla becoming the second guy to successfully catch a Taven dive. Yes, that Mr. Niebla, the same guy who is a 50/50 shot at showing up to any given show like he’s Jeff Hardy at Victory Road 2011. Just goes to show you that anything can happen on CMLL Puebla: The Ocho! No I will not stop running that joke into the ground.

 

 

Unfortunately the rest of the match could not quite live up to Taven’s hair, Niebla’s fake hair and their beautiful two minute sequences. The story was as expected Ángel de Oro and Cuatrero still feuding, which of course featured pretty much the same stuff we had already seen from these two. There was a little bit more energy in Oro’s step than usual, but the charisma levels were around the same and I spent most of this match desperately wishing that Niebla Roja could somehow transfer some his charisma into his brother. Or at least get in there and show him how it was done, as poor Rojo and Sansón had very little to do. It’s to be expected given Oro and Cuatrero’s feud, but there’s nothing there at this point to make me want to see more of it and this match did little to change that. We may be in luck that this was the blow off (in Puebla), as Cuatrero’s low blow wasn’t followed by a challenge, which should mean no rematch next week. Thank Grodd. Although I suppose it makes it unlikely I’ll get to break out this gem of a meme again anytime soon.

 

 

Carístico, Gran Guerrero, Mephisto defeated Bestia del Ring, Mistico, Rush two falls to one

 

As if this show couldn’t get any stranger, CMLL finished it off with a mesmerizingly out there main event. For the bulk of it, things appeared to be falling into place for a potential Carístico-Mistico match; they had numerous stare downs, several sequences and the Puebla crowd was absolutely electric for every encounter. Naturally as the match went on those moments started to disappear and instead Mistico appeared to start feuding with Gran Guerrero. I don’t get it either! It’s like that How I Met Your Mother episode where Carrie Underwood had Ted Mosby on the hook, only we’re all Ted and CMLL’s Carrie. In between all that we got Mephisto doing a plancha, Rush actually doing a few cool things here or there and Bestia del Ring…alright not everything could be fascinating in this match. I honestly have no idea what comes of this; they could be doing another match next week to set up Carístico-Mistico proper, or it could be building towards Mistico vs. the GG, as the finish to the match (GG winning with a small package after a mask pull) seemed to suggest. Who knows? I don’t want to say this was the best match of the night, but it was certainly the most interesting, if only because I still have no clue what was going on. That my friends is why CMLL Puebla is the 8th best weekly show around; you just never know what wackiness you’re going to get.

 

And with that, I’m off to pass out in a heap. I’ll be back tomorrow to review the Tuesday show and preview another AAA show because there is no Grodd and the cage wasn’t 30 feet. Or so I’m told. Till then, one last Dodgeball gift to hammer home this CMLL: The Ocho joke.

 

 

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