It’s Friday night and I have finally conquered the beast that is Red Dead Redemption 2. There’s only one thing left to do now; conquer the best that is Red Dead Redemption. Oh, and I guess do a live review of tonight’s CMLL Super Viernes. It’s only the start of the Universal Championship tournament and the Arena Mexico debut of Atlantis Jr. after all. Roaming the plains as John Marston or mourning the loss of Arthur Morgan and his noble steed can wait. Seriously though (RDR2 spoiler incoming), HOW DEVASTATING WAS IT WHEN ARTHUR’S HORSE DIED?! I haven’t cried that much since the last horrible AAA show. And with that let’s begin!

 

 

Akuma & Espanto Jr. defeated Robin & Star Jr. two falls to one

 

I know these CMLL openers are generally nowhere close to being good but hot damn; this match was something special in a completely uninspiring way. If nothing else you know you’re generally getting a smooth, high energy opener with guys of this caliber, just without the excitement to push it over the top. Not this week; the timing of all four guys was way off throughout the match, with at least two double team moves falling apart because the guys were on completely different pages. It didn’t get much better individually either; Star Jr. was the only guy who did anything remotely impressive, while Robin was so-so and Akuma/Espanto were rougher than a Michael Douglas sex scene. And that’s pretty rough! To quote Spaceballs, it’s best to just go past this match and never speak of it again.

 

Kaho Kobayashi, Lluvia, Princesa Sugehit defeated Amapola, Dalys, Reyna Isis two falls to one

 

On the one hand, Kaho Kobayashi made her return in this match and I was beyond thrilled to see her again. On the other hand this match felt like it was going slower than that Star Trek movie at times so it doesn’t appear like her return helped all that much. That’s not Kaho’s fault mind you; she brought the energy you’d expect to see from her and along with Lluvia she was easily the standout performer. She also got nothing to work with from the rudas, with Dalys notably botching an arm drag spot early on and then going into coast mode after. It’s a good thing Kaho will be around for awhile, which means she’ll get opportunities to show off how good she actually is. This was not one of those nights unfortunately.

 

Atlantis, Atlantis Jr., Niebla Roja Jr. defeated Hijo del Villano III, Mephisto, Villano IV two falls to one

 

I keep looking for the right words to describe this match and the phrase that keeps coming back to me is this; it was exactly what it needed to be. Like exactly what it needed to be. It was what the Castle series finale would’ve been if it was, you know, done right.

 

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Now don’t be fooled; this wasn’t a spectacular match sports fans. Anyone who was expecting Atlantis Jr. in his first Arena Mexico outing to completely steal the show definitely didn’t watch his FantasticaMania tour. What we did get however was a high level performance of what young Atlantis did in Japan; aside from his backbreaker spot he was smooth, he was confident, he had the crowd behind him from the beginning (and had them really hot after his huge dive) and he got La Atlantida on Hijo del Villano III with no problem to end the match. It was a really solid debut performance and was probably one of the two best performances in the match. Perhaps just as important as Atlantis Jr.’s good night was the fact that Hijo del Villano III was just as good. We hadn’t seen much of anything from him in his first few CMLL appearances but he showed some strong athleticism tonight and a couple of cool wacky moves. With Niebla Roja, Mephisto, Villano IV and even Atlantis taking it easy for the most part it was up to the two kids to step up and props to them, they did. It’ll have to get better than this at some point, but this was a very good restart for Hijo del Villano III and a very good start for Atlantis Jr. A fun match.

 

Flyer, Mistico, Volador Jr. defeated Euforia, Templario, Último Guerrero two falls to none

 

Hot damn; where to begin with this Grade A mess?! What should’ve been the best match on the show was instead derailed by a) Tirantes being Tirantes and issuing an excessive DQ to the Guerreros in fall one for…I’m still not sure what, and b) a serious leg injury Flyer suffered on a launching hurricanrana from the ramp. I’m not sure what the hell happened there; the replay was inconclusive on whether Flyer got spooked mid flight, if Volador didn’t give him enough air launching him or both (it was probably both). Either way Flyer ended up with his leg caught in the ropes and had to be stretchered out. It was horrifying. I know Flyer can be inconsistent, but he’s as talented as they come when he’s on and no one deserves to get hurt like that. I hope he’s alright. Even with all that going on the match was still not clicking at a high level; there were some cool moments (with Volador and Mistico trying to salvage things after the injury) but nothing that anyone would want to go out of their way to see. This was going to be the definition of an okay match until what happened with Flyer did, turning it into a miserable match.

 

CMLL Universal Championship Tournament, Block A

Terrible defeated Stuka

 

First off; yes the shitty seeding battle royal happened and no it will not be discussed. I review enough worthless things as is, why add to it? Frankly I think this one of my best ideas from this week, alongside a Red Dead Redemption 3 story focusing on Sadie and Charles and casting Ahnuld as Muadib’s sister in the new Dune.

 

 

Now to the first match of the tournament. It was short, short and did I mention short? Both guys, especially Stuka, gave a nice effort while in there but as I’m pretty sure the match only went three minutes there just wasn’t enough time for them to make an impression. Also, poor Stuka! The guy finally wins a title, gets a winnable match in this tournament and loses anyway. That’s just life in the CMLL midcard isn’t it?

 

Gran Guerrero defeated Valiente

 

HOT DAMN SPORTS FANS! You want to talk about making the most of the time you’re given; well look no further than this match. This was a sprint all the way through, a great thing because it allowed Valiente to go bezerk. Everything he had in his arsenal, from the Valiente Special to the Valiente Driver, was seen in this match, leading to the best Valiente performance we’ve seen in awhile. It also served to make Gran Guerrero look like a world beater, as he took every single one of those moves (sometimes twice), rose from the dead each time and ultimately prevailed with a Shock Drop off the top. And that of course came after CMLL made sure to give Valiente a near fall kickout himself! Perhaps I’m alone but I thought this was sublime. Well done by both men!

 

Dragón Lee defeated Forastero

 

A second straight good match on a CMLL show?! What is this, the LA Park era all over again? This was a tad shorter than the previous  match but it otherwise followed the same formula with a fast pace, lots of big moves, a whole lot of Forastero getting his shit in and Dragón Lee ultimately pulling it out with the Orange Crush Bomb. It was all really well done, with Dragón Lee looking great as always and Forastero looking like a beast. It’s amazing to me how he and Soberano can look like the best in the world against everyone but each other; it’s gotta be one of those John Cena-Randy Orton things between them. In any event, Forastero certainly had the chemistry with Lee and this is a match CMLL should revisit at some point in the near distant future.

 

Carístico defeated Cavernario

 

Dammit! We were so close to getting three straight fun CMLL matches in a row; alas this match went a little too short for me to go that far. This was yet another pairing that CMLL should run back at some point though. Cavernario is so good even when he’s just doing the bare minimum (like he was here) and Carístico is no slouch himself. A fifteen minute match, hell even a ten minute match, between these two could be serious money. Hopefully we get to see it sooner than later.

 

Terrible defeated Gran Guerrero

 

To think it was just five minutes ago where I was thinking Gran Guerrero was not only going to the finals but potentially winning this Block.

 

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Instead the poor dude got the same treatment Valiente did in their previous match. It was all GG for most of this match, with him emptying everything he had in his arsenal, only for Terrible to roar back at the end and steal the victory with a Nudo Lagunero attempt he should never try again. And frankly, stuff like that was what separated this match from the Guerrero-Valiente bout. Terrible is a good luchador but he doesn’t have the exciting moves Valiente brings to the table. That was on full display here and as such this match was more average than anything else.

 

Dragón Lee defeated Carístico

 

Now this was…wait why am I doing this when I have the Anakin gif specifically for situations like this?

 

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Seriously though sports fans, this was Grade A, top choice lucha! And why shouldn’t it have been; it was Carístico vs. Dragón Lee after all. That one weird match where Dragón Lee hurt his leg aside, the two have been absolute money together and this exactly that with just fewer minutes. Dragón Lee was absolutely on his A game again and Carístico was on his A + game; he was easily just as good here as he was against Volador in Japan, taking Lee’s crazy headscissors off the apron and then pulling off an effortless looking running Spanish Fly off the top rope. I was kind of rooting for him to win just to continue the “Carístico can’t lose!” thing that’s been happening but in the end it was another Orange Crush Bomb by Lee to send him against his big brother’s stable mate. Interesting final huh?

 

Block A Final

Terrible defeated Dragón Lee

 

So this has to be the biggest upset since Valiente won the Universal Tournament three years ago right? Like I’m pretty sure not a soul had Terrible winning this; they may have had him going far, they may have had him as an outside shot but winning? No chance. And yet here we are sports fans after what was easily the best match on the show and probably the best Block A final I’ve witnessed. CMLL did not hesitate to give these two all the time they needed and they absolutely knocked it out of the park. This was Dragón Lee at his highest level, a scary thought because you could argue that was the case for the Forastero and Carístico matches as well. The fact that he had already had those two very good matches and then came back with an even better performance…that’s stuff only Rey Fenix can do right? And don’t sleep on Terrible here. It’ll be easy to because so many will think Lee should’ve won and also due to the screwy ending (Terrible held the ropes to get the pin) but Terrible was with Dragón Lee every step of the way in this match. After the disappointing FantasticaMania tour (and two very quick matches tonight) he finally got something to sink his teeth into and proved to be the ideal partner for Lee. And now he’s set up for yet another great match against what will likely be a great technico in two weeks. But even if that doesn’t come to pass, at least he and Lee have this match. This was a superb effort from both men and it’ll be hard for anything next week to be this good.

 

That was tonight’s CMLL show sports fans. I’d say they delivered thanks to a really strong Block A, with Dragón Lee having three good to great matches, with the Terrible match being some particularly special. Gran Guerrero vs. Valiente was also a strong match from the Block, while all the rest of the matches were solid if short. Throw in a good first showing for Atlantis Jr. and that is more than enough to erase the disappointing semi-main and a forgettable undercard away from memory. This was a good night for CMLL and hopefully it means we’ll have another one come next week.

 

And with that, I’m off to do something else with my life. Till next time, more Ahnuld doing Dune lines.

 

 

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