To think sports fans; it was about a week ago I was getting ready for my trip to Maryland, foolishly thinking I would easily be able to keep up my usual writing schedule. LOL! Yeah not so much. As it turns out when you go to both visit family and take in the first ever AEW Dynamite episode (with family), it leaves you with a ton to do and not a lot of energy to do other stuff after. Hence why I’m still behind on watching CMLL’s Puebla show, why CMLL Tuesday’s show was the only show I got to give thoughts on till now and why last night’s Super Viernes is only getting results. Actually that’s because I watched it while my grandmother had the news blaring in the background but really, same difference. It’s been a week (and it’s not over! I leave Maryland tomorrow, which means I still have to figure out how to review AAA tonight)!
The good news is I did get to experience last night’s CMLL Super Viernes in full and it was an interesting show, especially after last week’s controversy over the departures of Dragón Lee and Rush. Quite frankly I thought this was the best CMLL show in sometime. With the UG-Ciber the Main Man bullshit put out to pasture CMLL was able to focus on other stuff and some of it (a singles match, the main event and one performer in the Gran Alternativa) was quite good. The show suffered from two issues though; it was long (almost three hours) due to Block A of the Gran Alternativa, and the crowd was dead. Some of that was due to the length, the rest of it was due to CMLL being really bad for months and the chickens coming home to roost. It’ll be interesting to see if CMLL can reverse that in the weeks to come. They didn’t last night and that was with a good show. If you missed it, here’s what happened.
Reyna Isis & Seductora defeated La Magnifica & Silueta two falls to one. The opening two matches suffered from the same problem; good technicos sides and terrible rudo sides. La Magnifica and Silueta are two very good workers, perhaps even the best technicas CMLL has right now, and they actually did a decent job of making this match respectable and even pushing Isis and Seductora (mostly Isis) into stretching out of their comfort zone. Sadly Seductora is still very bad and Reyna Isis is…I’m not even sure, so this match was still the usual below par CMLL luchadoras match. Hopefully we do get more Magnifica and Silueta though. CMLL going with them and Avispa Dorada going forward is the best way towards me actually caring about luchadoras matches in this promotion again.
Esfinge, Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa defeated Dark Magic, Okumura, Vangellys two falls to one after Cometa pinned Vangellys with a 450. One day someone will have to explain how this all came together because boy; it does not get any worse than that rudo team. Okumura was clearly the best of that group, and the most notable thing about him now is that he may be fired for the potential disintegration of the CMLL/New Japan/ROH alliance, not his ability. Esfinge, Maya and Cometa could’ve had a decent match with another team but with this one they were stuck in mediocrity. It showed in their effort; Esfinge (who is middling anyway) was never engaged, Maya checked out after Dark Magic was unable to take an arm drag normally and Cometa looked like he had just watched his soul leave his body. A miserable match thanks to a miserably untalented rudo squad.
Templario defeated Soberano Jr. in a one fall match after pinning Soberano with a Powerbomb into a Backcracker. This was easily the best match CMLL has had since…well the last Soberano-Templario match! These guys have always been magic together and have found a way to get better by eliminating the Canadian Destroyer attempts and replacing them with more innovation and cool counters off springboards. The result was a terrific fourteen minute sprint of nonstop action. Templario has rarely been better than this and Soberano, who may not have a functioning left shoulder, was unbelievable. CMLL even found time to promote their rematch on Sunday and it’s clear there may be more plans for this feud going forward. I’m all for it. This was exactly the kind of fun lucha libre CMLL has been missing the last few months.
Cavernario, Cuatrero, Hijo del Villano III defeated Flyer, Titán, Valiente two falls to one. This match would’ve been good if a) CMLL hadn’t inexplicably had Villano pin Titán in fall three (what was that about?) and b) if they had used any other technico but Flyer. The poor dude had yet another rough night, having his usual slip ups and noticeably having trouble his moonsault (he did hit it for what it’s worth). Besides that the match was on the right track. Cavernario looked good as always, Valiente was solid, Cuatrero did really well basing and Titán had moments of brilliance…which was naturally canceled out when he was pinned by Villano, who did his usual nothing in this match. CMLL; they giveth and they taketh away.
El Coyote & Terrible defeated Grako & Mephisto in a Gran Alternativa first round match. This was preceded by the usual tournament seeding battle royal; we won’t talk about that. This was a solid start to the tournament. Grako and Coyote seemed energized working against each other and Terrible seemed motivated to at least do a few things, which made this more interesting than normal. I honestly forgot Mephisto was here; perhaps he did as well!
Dulce Gardenia & Volador Jr. defeated Espíritu Negro & Mr. Niebla in a Gran Alternativa first round match. One of the two standout first round matches for two reasons. First, Dulce and Volador clicked as partners out of the gate and looked really strong with several synchronized dives and double teams. Second, Espíritu Negro showed that he’s actually been really good all this time! The undercard rudo, who usually shows nothing, stepped up his game big with several cool moments. He clearly has more to offer, which makes it sad that he’ll probably never get the opportunity after this. He was great here though, and that coupled with Dulce and Volador showing off and Mr. Niebla’s comedy (which played great against Dulce) made this a fun watch.
Fugaz & Mistico defeated Arkalis & Stuka Jr. in a Gran Alternativa first round match. This was all about Fugaz. The Guadalajara luchador looks a lot like former CMLL star Delta and luckily is as exciting; he began this match with an awesome double jump moonsault to the floor and was firing on all cylinders from there. A terrific performance for the youngster in what would become the best night of his career. Everyone else was fine; Mistico and Stuka did enough to get by and Arkalis tried hard, though it was clear he was well behind Fugaz from a talent perspective once the match was over.
Difunto & Último Guerrero defeated Diamante Azul & Retro in a Gran Alternativa first round match. This was easily the worst match of the tournament and thankfully the fastest. I can’t remember anything Difunto and the UG did in this match, mainly because Diamante Azul was so terrible it blocked everything else out. Even Retro, who has never been good, came off looking more impressive than Azul. Good Grodd man; how do you let that happen?! Again, the match was thankfully short so this didn’t linger.
Dulce Gardenia & Volador Jr. defeated El Coyote & Terrible in a Gran Alternativa second round match. The effort was alright here but this was where you could see why a guy like Coyote is still in the undercard. He had several timing issues with Volador that really broke the flow of the match, which was already hurting because the referees were getting even more lost than the luchadores. Still some good moments though; the Terrible/Dulce stare down was great and Dulce himself had another strong performance.
Fugaz & Mistico defeated Difunto & Último Guerrero in a Gran Alternativa second round match. A very quick match with, at the time, a surprising result. Fugaz was once again very good and was once again a step above the other youngster. I’ve seen Difunto be good, but this was not the strongest night for him, as he had similar problems that Coyote had in the previous match. UG and Mistico were pretty much afterthoughts. Take that however you will.
Fugaz & Mistico defeated Dulce Gardenia & Volador Jr. to win Block A of the Gran Alternativa after Mistico submitted Volador with La Mistica. On the surface this seems like a surprising result given that Volador is Volador and Dulce Gardenia is one of CMLL’s rising stars. In reality CMLL was clearly aiming to placate Mistico following the departures of his family last week and what better way to do that than by pushing him hard in this tournament? Hey good for Fugaz; the youngster impressed mightily in this match and in this block, and will now get a main event slot because of CMLL’s political maneuvering. The rest of the match was solid, but the length of the show was starting to become a factor in keeping everyone’s attention, myself included.
Euforia & Gran Guerrero defeated Ángel de Oro & Niebla Roja two falls to one to retain the CMLL World Tag Team Championships. The finish came on one of those classic double submission spots the Guerreros like to use. This was a good match that would’ve come across even better if it hadn’t been at the end of a long show, if it had featured a crowd that cared and if it hadn’t been yet another match between these two teams. Unfortunately all those factors were in play and the match suffered as a result. It was still highly watchable because I’m pretty sure Euforia/Gran Guerrero and the Chavez brothers are incapable of a bad match against each other. It was just the wrong place and wrong time to attempt to have a great match. Hopefully they get a chance further down the line, after Euforia and Gran Guerrero are allowed to have match ups against other teams. They’re in desperate need of changing opponents I think.