IT’S FRIDAY, FRIDAY, GOTTA REVIEW CMLL ON FRIDAY! And let us never speak about how I opened this column again. Eh we won’t anyway, for CMLL is about to begin and it’s time for me to crank out a Live Review for the first time since the government was open. Wait…THE GOVERNMENT IS OPEN AGAIN?! Next they’ll tell me a Starship Troopers TV series with Casper Van Dien is in development…wait that’s a thing too?! That’s it; I’m starting to review before another shocking occurrence causes me to spontaneously com-bust.
El Coyote & Grako defeated Eléctrico & Oro Jr. two falls to one
I may be alone here but this felt like a match that would’ve been legitimately good if CMLL had just let these four do a little more. It wasn’t the smoothest match (Oro Jr. could’ve hit his moves a bit more flush) but some of the ideas were great, the energy was great and both teams put in good performances. The effort El Coyote and Grako give compared to some of these other opening match rudos is night and day and it’s no question they’ve helped make these openers a tad better, not to mention make it easier for the technicos. It just didn’t have the exciting “can’t miss” spot that would’ve put it over the top. If CMLL would relax on the restrictions in the openers and let these guys go full blast I think we would’ve gotten it and this match would’ve been legitimately good. Alas, while I enjoyed a good chunk of it, I can’t say it was because it just didn’t have enough excitement. Good effort from all four at least.
Black Panther, Blue Panther Jr., Rey Cometa defeated Misterioso Jr., Sagrado, Universo 2000 Jr. two falls to one
I was kind of distracted during this match due to a Hijo del Vikingo vs. Rich Swann match going on on Impact’s Twitch channel. In retrospect neither match was all that exciting; Vikingo and Swann had moments but was less impressive than you’d expect and this match was very much like the opener on this show, minus the effort. There was still some good effort; both Panthers and Cometa were trying and had some really good moments, with Cometa once again looking like a star. On the rudo side though only Universo 2000 Jr. seemed to realize this was a show, and like the opener there was very little in terms of excitement (unless you count Cometa’s 450). Between this and the Vikingo-Swann match, there were a lot of talented luchadores fight and yet we only got two “whelming” matches.
Felino, Shocker, Vangellys defeated Audaz, Flyer, Titán two falls to one
The only thing this match was missing was Vince McMahon strutting down to the ring as “No Chance in Hell” played. Because that’s frankly the chances Audaz, Flyer and Titán had at turning this into a good match.
I’m used to CMLL making bizarre decisions sports fans but this one makes no sense in any shape or form. You have three guys in Audaz, Flyer and Titán who have just returned from a tour with New Japan Pro Wrestling, the second biggest promotion in the world. I don’t care if all three of them struggled there (at best only Flyer did, and even he had good matches here and there); those guys were there for a reason and they deserve a push. So what does CMLL do? It jobs them all out to Felino, M. Bison as essayed by Dr. Strangelove and a guy in Shocker who looks like he belongs in those shitty El Canek matches we see once a year in Arena Mexico. To add insult to injury they also give the technicos nothing to do, with Flyer being the only one to get any big dives while Titán and Audaz were effectively neutered (in fairness, Audaz did slip on a springboard rana, though he covered it well). I’m probably underrating this just because of how CMLL booked it, but holy shit I hated this match. Audaz, Flyer and Titán deserved better, and if they were treated like this I can only imagine what fate Atlantis Jr. will have next week. They could team him with Retro and Sangre Imperial against three Bestia del Ring clones and I wouldn’t be shocked.
Soberano Jr. defeated Templario
Just when things were looking dire, in road Soberano and Templario are their white horses to save the damn show. And save it they did!
This was exactly what the Soberano-Forastero Lightning Matches should’ve been and weren’t. Whereas those matches spent too long building up to things that never came, this match was full throttle from the word go. Soberano and Templario wasted no time getting into their big moves and then just spent the rest of the match finding bigger and better things to do, with the highlight being Soberano reversing a Swing Bottom into a Code Red. A SWING BOTTOM REVERSAL INTO A CODE RED! I know people were starting to get down on Soberano after that weird Super Junior Tag League stint but between this match and the FantasticaMania tour he’s starting to look like the guy who was one of the two best luchadores in 2017 again. It definitely helped that he had a guy in Templario who could base for every one of his moves while also equaling Soberano’s athleticism. It’s the perfect pairing, much like Soberano and Cavernario is, and together these two delivered exactly what we wanted. An excellent Lightning Match and CMLL would be crazy to not go back to this at some point, preferably with two more falls added on.
Atlantis, Carístico, Volador Jr. defeated Cavernario, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero two falls to one
Boy did this match fly by. I could be mistaken but it felt like it went ten minutes at most, which unfortunately was not a lot of time to make this a great match. It was enough time for there to be two Canadian Destroyers so there is that. I had no problem with that unlike everyone else it seems; the move is overdone, but I’d watch 100 Destroyers as opposed to watching Shocker and his pals squash Audaz, Flyer and Titán again. Everything else about the action as good for the time given. Carístico and Volador did a good job hitting their greatest hits, Cavernario was impressive (as always), the Guerreros based well and Atlantis looked far better than I expected coming off FantasticaMania. I would’ve thought he’d be too tired to do anything but instead hit a suicide dive, had great energy and got the UG in La Atlantida with little issue. The old Atlantis may never be coming back but this new one is at least better than the one we saw for most of 2017.
Diamante Azul, King Phoenix, Penta Zero M defeated Bestia del Ring, Rush, Terrible two falls to none
Finally; a match that went better than I expected on this show. Well besides Soberano vs. Templario, but I expected that to be great. I didn’t think this one would be quite as good due to Bestia del Ring’s involvement; as it turns out he was fine, with Fenix (dammit; I meant King Phoenix) finding ways to work well with him because the King is just that damn good. The problem was, like the semi-main, it didn’t get as much time as it should’ve. A three fall match between these two sides, even with Diamante Azul and Bestia getting exposed, may have had enough to become something thanks to the heat between Pentagon and Rush, a bounce back performance from Terrible after a rough FantasticaMania, Fenix doing his thing and some really great work between Pentagon and Rush. They clicked so well together during a first fall sequence that I honestly thought it may have been the best thing on the show. They just didn’t get enough time to do it again, which left this match at good instead of great. The question now becomes if CMLL does more with the Lucha Brothers vs. Rush/Terrible and when; the next few weeks are obviously taken by the CMLL Universal Championship tournament so the soonest would be the Universal Final on February 15th. I could see CMLL doing it then, I could see them stretching it out to Homenaje a Dos Leyendas in March; hell I could see the match never happening at all knowing CMLL. All we can do is hope it does happen I suppose. This was a nice taste of what it could be, especially between Rush and Pentagon, but there should be more at some point.
That was tonight’s CMLL sports fans. It was a fine show but nothing more, with Soberano vs. Templario as the obvious highlight match. Everything else was either too short (the semi-main and main event), too rudo centric (the second match), a complete and utter disgrace of CMLL booking (the Audaz/Flyer/Titán match) or just not quite exciting enough to leave an impression (the opener). Still the only real bad thing on the show was CMLL’s treatment of Audaz, Flyer and Titán so it’s hard to get too upset. We’ll see how CMLL follows it up next week with the first Block of the Universal Championship tournament, which could be very hit or miss knowing CMLL’s usual structure.
In any event, that’s all from me today sports fans. I’ll be back tomorrow with an AAA review, though it may not be live due to some family obligations. TILL THEN!
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