There’s no time to waste sports fans. It’s Friday night, the Pepsi is flowing, CMLL is moments away from being live, Máscara Año 2000 is being celebrated and the headlining match is Fenix (oops; I meant King Phoenix) vs. Cavernario for the right to be Leyenda de Plata. Why spend so long on the intro when we can just get to the good stuff. ONTO THE LIVE REVIEW!
Akuma & Espanto Jr. defeated Oro Jr. & Super Astro Jr. two falls to one
First off, it was really nice to see Oro Jr. in this match just a few days after he looked to be severely hurt after a spot gone wrong on an indie show. Second, he and Super Astro Jr. deserved a lot better than this match. I thought both of them were very good; Oro had some nice spots and would’ve stood out if Super Astro Jr. didn’t just flat out steal the show with cool spot after cool spot. I had to leave the Star Wars theme on queue he was doing so many cool things. They just needed a El Coyote/Grako combination to work with and unfortunately got Akuma and Espanto instead. Neither guy was bad, but neither guy brought any extra energy outside of “do our basic stuff, head for the exits.” Naturally they also won, which put a damper on this bout as well. And that’s the story of how a match with Super Astro Jr. was forgettable. For shame.
Black Panther, Blue Panther Jr., Fuego defeated Kawato San, Okumura, Universo 2000 Jr. two falls to one
There’s only one thing you need to take away from this match sports fans…and it’s that CM Punk has been masquerading as Blue Panther Jr. this whole time! How else would you explain Junior hitting the GTS in this match? I suppose you could say he’s KENTA but a) KENTA isn’t as big as Junior and b) KENTA didn’t leave WWE at the same time Junior started wrestling like Punk did. Coincidence? I THINK NOT!
Sadly that GTS may have been the most interesting thing in this match. I didn’t notice many botches but there were way too many roll up sequences in fall three that brought this match to a screeching halt and not nearly enough cool spots to counteract it. Legit, the best things about this match were probably Junior’s GTS, Junior taking Okumura to Backbreaker City and Fuego doing a second rope Asai Moonsault. The second season of Buffy this was not. You could argue the match was worthwhile because it was relatively smooth, but I just didn’t feel like there was enough going on. A ho-hum second match.
Soberano Jr., Titán, Tritón defeated Dark Magic, Luciferno, Vangellys two falls to none
Going into the second match, everyone expected it to get only two falls. This is CMLL though, so that match got three whereas this match, featuring three of the best technicos CMLL has, only got two. On the one hand, they were in there with Dark Magic, Luciferno and Vangellys; that’s not exactly the Uncharted 2 of trios teams. On the other hand…
Seriously sports fans; CMLL screwed the pooch on this one. I’m sure they thought the Magic/Luciferno/Vangellys team was weird (of course, that begs the question of why they put them together in the first place) but a) they weren’t that bad and b) it didn’t matter what they did because Soberano, Titán and Tritón were that good. Titán had a few iffy moments with Luciferno here and there but was overall on his game, Soberano was really good and Tritón was absolutely tremendous. There really is a difference if you take Esfinge away from him. If CMLL had given those three the time the second match got we might’ve had a barnburner. Instead I’m not sure they gave them ten minutes and instead it was one of those tiny fires you have in the quarry to pass time in high school. In other words it was still fun, just not as fun as it should’ve been.
Carístico, Mistico, Volador Jr defeated Ephesto, Mephisto, Penta Zero M two falls to one
Never in a million years did I think I’d describe a match like this as such…but hot damn this was a rough match. Even more stunning, it was a rough match largely because Pentagon was kind of bad. Can you remember the last time that happened because I sure as hell can’t. I’m sure someone will put the blame on him not clicking with Ephesto and Mephisto (and there were chemistry issues to a degree), but that doesn’t explain Pentagon whiffing on catching a Mistico dive, being out of position at least three times and seemingly losing track of what he was supposed to be doing at several points. It was a very un-Pentagon performance, which I suppose is fitting in a way because his CMLL run has been all sorts of disappointing. As for the rest of the match, it was all aggressively average. The other five luchadores were trying and there were some cool moments, but there wasn’t that much oomph to the action in the end, Pentagon’s bad night excluded. It’s a weird one because on paper this match seems like a winner. Instead it was completely forgettable, aside from being the lone stinker Pentagon’s had in the last several years.
Leyenda de Plata Final
Cavernario defeated King Phoenix two falls to one
First things first sports fans; I think I speak for everyone when I say I hope that Fenix is okay. I’m not sure how he survived the match as long as he did but by the end he looked to be in some significant pain, enough that he had to be carried out on a stretcher. There are many arguments to be made about going all out for a match like Fenix and Cavernario just did and the end result here may top the list. Perhaps it won’t be as serious as it seems but right now it’s hard to wonder if maybe Fenix and Cav went just a bit too far and sadly, Fenix is paying the price.
All that said…holy shit what a match. Some people were saying the first match was better than this one and frankly I think those people are nuts. This match wasn’t just better; it was MILES better. This was one of the best matches I’ve seen since I started watching CMLL. Maybe it didn’t have all the crazy dives the first match had (although I question that because this match had unbelievable dive after unbelievable dive) and maybe Fenix’ potential injury at the end hurt the finish, but frankly I don’t agree on either front. The only thing I thought this match could’ve changed is how dangerous it was; beyond that this was everything I wanted in a wrestling match. Big dives; high drama; great storytelling; awesome little moments like Cavernario dragging Fenix from the stage all the way back to the ring. There is so much to unpack from this match it isn’t even funny. It felt like one of the biggest matches you could ever hope to find, and both Fenix and Cavernario performed like it was. LA Park has definitely had a year that I’d argue is better than both from an overall perspective, but I don’t see how anyone can argue that Fenix and Cavernario aren’t the two best luchadores in the world. I don’t know what else to say and frankly I’ll keep rambling if I don’t stop now. I loved this match. It’s the best I’ve seen in CMLL this year. I hope Fenix is okay so we can have more of them.
Cuatrero, Forastero, Máscara Año 2000, Sansón defeated Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Templario, Último Guerrero two falls to one
It was going so right for CMLL tonight that they even stuck the landing with the best legends match they’ve had all year. That’s right sports fans; you’re now living in a world where Máscara Año 2000’s big Aniversario match was better than Atlantis’, Blue Panther’s and Negro Casas’. The universe is truly upside down.
Ah but who cares when you get a moment like this main event? As with Atlantis, Casas and Panther we got the emotional pre-match honoring of MA2K, where the legend was moved to tears in a very nice moment. And then we got a match that, while not as crazy as the semi-main, was incredible fun. I’m sure even Máscara Año 2000 wouldn’t even claim this was his best work (that remains Triplemania I by the way), but he was solid and most importantly allowed everyone else in this match to work their magic. That’s good because everyone else was spectacular. Cuatrero, Forastero and Sansón found a way to step it up a notch for their uncle, and those guys are always working at the highest level anyway. That’s how much better they were tonight. Euforia was tremendous. The UG found a way to stand out on sheer charisma alone. Gran Guerrero had some unbelievable spots that will sadly go unnoticed. But the star was Templario. He was decked out in Los Guerreros gear and based off this performance he may need to be a permanent member of the group. I get the feeling he watched Fenix and Cavernario do their thing, said “I can top that” and then went out and did his damndest. He didn’t quite make it there but he was easily the third best performer tonight behind those two and the star of this match. He could not have come across stronger. What more do you want sports fans? There were better matches on this show, but it was a fantastic main event all the same and, as far as legends matches goes, I’d dare say this was perfect and you have to feel good for Máscara Año 2000 for it turning out so well. Now let’s just hope that’ll be the case for the inevitable UG-Año singles match that was teased. Ah it’s the UG; he’ll make it work.
That was tonight’s CMLL and boy what a show! There were a few hiccups along the way but the undercard was solid, the main event was great and Fenix vs. Cavernario will go down as a legendary matchup. The only negative coming out of the show is that Fenix may have killed himself to make that match as great as it was, and for all we know he’ll turn out to be just fine (at least I hope so). It’s no secret that the second half of 2018 has been a struggle for CMLL and while it’s gotten a bit better on Friday as of late, this show is a reminder of what the promotion can be when it’s firing on all cylinders. I expect we won’t get this type of quality next week when CMLL goes full “legends” but I think we can give them a one week reprieve after tonight. This was one hell of a show, and you should seek it out if you get the chance.
There you have it sports fans. I’m off to watch TV. TILL NEXT TIME!
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