It’s a new year sports fans and, for at least one Friday night, a new CMLL. Ever since I’ve started watching CMLL they have had the tradition of starting each year off with a show that is very much against CMLL’s norm; what I mean by that is it’s a card that has almost all good matches. The tradition continues this year as well; other than the fourth match, tomorrow’s Super Viernes show has no duds. Every match looks exciting, every match has potential to be great; frankly if CMLL had been able to get LA Park involved for the fourth match to continue his issues with Rush then this would’ve been an early candidate for show of the year. And it still may be anyway! All the more reason to enjoy this show and this preview while it lasts sports fans; we’re probably not getting anything this good again until Homenaje a Dos Leyendas. And with that that let’s begin!

 

 

Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa, Stuka Jr. vs. Ephesto, Gran Guerrero, Templario

 

What to Expect: You know this is a special show when 84th Aniversario headliner Gran Guerrero can be found here in the CMLL death slot. Well that and the fact that this match, for once, won’t be the death slot. I have no idea what kind of effort these six will bring but it really doesn’t matter; a match with Cometa, Maya, Guerrero, Stuka and Templario just going through the motions would be better than most CMLL openers. They’ll definitely at least give us that and on the off chance they do decide to go all out then the sky is the limit. Alright maybe not with Ephesto there but for all we know he’ll go full Blue Panther Aniversario show and turn the clock back. Stranger things have happened after all.

 

Winners: For once CMLL starts the show off hot with a technico victory. Maya, Cometa and Stuka take it in three.

 

Lightning Match

Titán vs. Tritón

 

What to Expect: Obviously this match was as random as almost every other CMLL match is…but isn’t it fun to imagine this match coming about because Titán is still annoyed at Tritón for nearly (and accidentally) wiping him off the face of the earth a few weeks ago? I don’t care if it’s not the reason; in my head canon I am making it such!

 

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Here’s the thing; even without that botch though this is a match that feels like it’s been a long time coming. That’s because Titán and Tritón go way back, and by that I mean back to when they were respectively known as Palacio Negro (Titán) and Metal Blanco (Tritón). A lot has changed since they both started out and not just the names; both guys have gone onto become respectable luchadores, though Titán is quite clearly seen as the superior worker by both CMLL and fans. I doubt that story will play into this match but it does exist and does add another layer for those aware of the history. Even if you aren’t though this match should still be must watch. Titán is an outstanding worker and I personally believe Tritón is, at worst, just a notch below him, even if people now want to decide he’s mediocre because of one botch/him hanging out with Esfinge (a luchador who actually is mediocre). Throw in how hard both will work given their history and this is a potential show stealer as long as a) no one gets hurt and b) CMLL gives them a lot of time. You’re damn right I’m worried about that second one.

 

Winner: Titán takes it with his leg lock at the seven minute mark.

 

Carístico, Valiente, Volador Jr. vs. Euforia, Mephisto, Último Guerrero

 

What to Expect: Anyone else wish they had been in the room when Carístico, Volador and the UG learned they would be in the third match on this show? Just me? I totally agree with CMLL’s decision to do it mind you; it just doesn’t change how funny it is that three of their biggest stars (along with three other upper midcard/main eventers) are slumming in match three. The good news is all six luchadores are normally fun to watch and this match should be no less, even if all six are on autopilot to a degree. For myself, I’ll just be happy if I get to see the Valiente Special in this match. You know it’s a big night when a dive like that comes that early!

 

Winners: The rudos finally get on the board with a three fall victory.

 

Atlantis, Kráneo, Volcano vs. Bestia del Ring, Rush, Terrible

 

What to Expect: If this show was season two of 24, this match would be the part where Kim runs into the cougar in the woods.

 

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Said no one reading this column

 

Seriously though; this match gives off vibes I haven’t seen since the last Limp Bizkit album. Or maybe it’s just the potential Volcano/Bestia sequences that have me thinking that. Ultimately I expect this match to be less about good lucha and more about building something between Rush and Atlantis. I could be wrong (and knowing CMLL I probably am) but they seem to be matching Atlantis and Los Ingobernables up more frequently these days, all around the same time Atlantis has been upping his effort level as his son (Atlantis Jr.) gets closer to debuting. And that’s all while a potential issue between Atlantis and Villano IV is being worked on as well. Something is imminent with Atlantis I think and this match may hold the secrets. Or maybe I’m just trying to give myself a reason to keep watching this when Volcano and Bestia putting on the worst lucha display since Bestia vs. Vangellys.

 

Winners: It wouldn’t be a CMLL show without one match only going two falls and ending in DQ. Like Neo, this match will be the one as Rush fouls Atlantis in fall two to give the technicos the DQ victory.

 

Dragón Lee vs. Cavernario

 

What to Expect: New year, same old annoying kid Anakin Skywalker!

 

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It’s a testament to how strongly CMLL loaded this show that this match only has a shot at being the best on the card. It’s got a great shot though and not just because we’ve seen these guys have great matches again each other before. Dragón Lee is quite frankly the biggest question mark, given that he’s just back from being stranded on a deserted island, but he’s looked good in trios and singles action (against DJZ in MLW) thus far so my concerns are limited. And no one needs to be concerned about Cavernario; he’s one of the best luchadores alive right now and arguably has a case for being the best luchador of 2018. This is one of those situations where the only way things go wrong is if someone gets hurt…and even then I’ve seen Cavernario matches (like the most recent one with King Phoenix) where that does nothing to hurt the quality. Basically look for this to be an outstanding bit of lucha.

 

Winner: This is arguably a too close to call scenario but you know what; I’m feeling Cavernario here. The 85th Aniversario headliner continues his hot streak by defeating Lee in three falls with La Cavernaria.

 

Mexican National Trios Championship Match

Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón (c) vs. Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Soberano Jr.

 

What to Expect: Oddly enough this match feels like it would’ve fit in best with some of the previous Super Viernes’ to start January, where the matches were generally throwbacks to big matches from the previous year. Who cares though; the only thing that matters is that, like Dragón Lee-Cavernario and the Killers, this has potential. Not only are all six luchadores here great individual talents but they produced many memorable matches against each other a year ago. Granted it has been some time and the Dinamitas were, at least in my view, very iffy in their two big matches this past week. Even still Cuatrero, Forastero and Sansón are one of the best trios in the world and Oro, Roja and Soberano are arguably their best opponents. They’re also three dudes who haven’t been given a lot to do recently which, along with the motivation of being in the main event, should mean they’ll be unloading everything in the arsenal. I expect this will be one to remember and like the semi-main event has a shot at being an early Match of the Year contender for CMLL.

 

Winners: It’s very difficult for me to see the Dinamitas dropping the titles at this point in time so look for them to retain after Cuatrero does what he does best; surviving an Ángel de Oro onslaught to pick up the victory.

 

There you have it sports fans. I’m off to go get ready for Wrestle Kingdom 13, which I will foolishly be waking up at 2 in the morning to watch. Good stuff. TILL THE SHOW TOMORROW!

 

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