Alright sports fans; I’ve gotten some sleep (not nearly enough of it apparently but still), I’ve walked the dog and I have gotten in a review of last night’s CMLL Super Viernes! You can say many things about me but you can’t say I don’t work hard. You also can’t say I wasn’t right! After listening to several people I know worry over the week that CMLL was moving on from LA Park vs. Rush for an Atlantis-Fuerza Guerrera or Octagón-Fuerza Guerrera match that would be set up tonight, tonight’s CMLL came and went without a hint of that happening. In other words, exactly what I predicted. I don’t normally go full Rob Viper and say #CultWasRight…but yeah, last night #CultWasRight. Whether I remain so remains to be seen but that’s for another time. For now let’s move on from the worrying and speculation and talk about a show that, like last night’s AAA, was a lot of fun from top to bottom thanks to some good matches, a terrific main event and an even better tribute to one of the greatest luchadores of all time. Let’s get crackin!
Metálico & Sangre Azteca defeated Príncipe Diamante & Super Astro Jr. two falls to one
I actually caught all twenty plus minutes of this match prior to AAA starting. That’s right; this went over twenty minutes. Only in CMLL could they finally decide to give an opener a good amount of time and then stick Metálico and Sangre Azteca in it. It actually wasn’t terrible all things considering but to me it merely felt like a long version of what we usually get, with both technicos trying hard, the rudos switching back and forth from giving a damn to not (especially Metálico) and not a whole lot of interesting things happening either way. What a shame because I’m pretty sure Príncipe Diamante (decked out in a great tribute outfit for Atlantis) and Super Astro Jr. could’ve had something with almost any other combination. They were in this to make stuff happened and unfortunately got caught with a guy who’s best attribute is his entrance and another who’s best days were about ten years ago. So yeah; passable, but eons behind the AAA opener.
Audaz, Fuego, Star Jr. defeated Kawato San, Okumura, Universo 2000 Jr. two falls to one
This match was good and I’m still not entirely sure why people thought it wouldn’t be! Alright I suppose it could’ve been because of Okumura or Universo Jr. but I mean, it’s like those two are Metálico and Old Man Sangre Azteca. They’re at least reliable. This is why I need to stop looking into things. Like why Jeff Jarrett got the push in AAA even though Juventud Guerrera is carrying his ass in matches he’s not even in! Every time I try to figure that one out I just turn into that Chris Rock gif.
Back to this show and this match though. It was all about the young guys in this one, with Okumura and Fuego taking a backseat for most of this match to the Audaz/Universo Jr. and Star Jr./Kawato sequences. I was more impressed with the former than the latter; Star Jr. and Kawato were working their asses off and (as I believe luchablog said on Twitter) they seem to be aiming for a Dragón Lee-Kamaitachi level program between themselves. The problem is they don’t quite have the chemistry down yet and their sequences seemed a little more mundane then I would like. More effective were Audaz and Universo, mostly because Audaz was doing stuff in this match that only Hijo del Vikingo and Aerostar can do. And not just with Universo Jr.; Okumura was even getting some moments to base for the exciting youngster. The match would’ve been good without Audaz’ brilliance but there’s no question he raised it another level (as he has with many matches this year) with his unbelievable ability. Hopefully Kawato and Star Jr. were taking notes because they’ll need stuff like that if they want any feud to take off between them.
Dalys defeated La Jarochita
I wasn’t sure why this match existed going into this show; I’m twice as unsure now. That was my best attempt at emulating a Blade Runner line by the way. Not sure I nailed it. Anyways, this match was…honestly it was just kind of dull. The action wasn’t terrible I suppose but nothing jumped off the screen at all. Part of that was the lack of time these two got, part of that is that Jarochita doesn’t appear to have it. She hit a suicide dive in this match and otherwise showed nothing, with the highlight of her nothingness being when she attempted a face wash kick on Dalys, only to whiff with the camera staring right at the spot. In Jarochita’s defense it’s not like Dalys gave that much better (she barely looked capable of getting Jarochita up for her sitout powerbomb finisher) but Dalys is already secure in her spot. This was a chance, in front of the biggest crowd CMLL’s put forth this year, for Jarochita to show us all something and instead she made it more apparent that I’m really going to be missing Zeuxis more and more on these CMLL shows. And I already missed Zeuxis more than Michael Bay missed the mark when he made Pearl Harbor.
Carístico, Dragón Lee, Mistico defeated Cavernario, Gran Guerrero, Negro Casas two falls to one
As I said earlier, if you enjoy shows where everyone’s predictions went wrong, this was the show for you. Everyone and their brother (myself included) thought that this match was going to get shortchanged in favor of CMLL building to whatever they’re building to between Carístico, Dragón Lee and Mistico. Instead the match went off without a hitch. Alright there were three hitches in the form of a middle finger to Carístico by Dragón Lee, followed by Carístico flipping the double bird back at him and Mistico. Beyond that though CMLL played this straight and, what do you know, the match was very good. Dragón Lee had a couple of kicks that didn’t connect but overall he looked great, especially with Negro Casas in their never ending quest to have great trios sequences that never pay off in a full blown singles match. Mistico remains very much a dude who has only one or two things in his bag but he did them well and was over, while Carístico looked alright on an easy night. Frankly I thought this match succeeded a lot because Cavernario and Gran Guerrera were flawless, both with their offense and their basing. In other words, they were their usual selves. Maybe some will be disappointed we didn’t get an angle here but overall the match was better than many of us expected so I think we can let it slide.
The Ultimate Atlantis Tribute
I normally would include this briefly in the next section but frankly, this tribute video for Atlantis deserves its own two paragraphs, for two reasons. First, because CMLL, in classic CMLL form, only showed this tribute video because they inexplicably didn’t show us part of the ceremony held in Atlantis’ honor (including his entrance) live. Why didn’t they? Like I said earlier, I’m done trying to figure things out I don’t understand. It ended up alright though because this video tribute was the cream of the crop. We got a ton of cool Atlantis photos. We saw him being honored in Mexico and Japan. Best of all we got video highlights of all his big mask victories, from Mano Negra to Último Guerrero to La Sombra to, yes, Villano III. It’s not hard for me to mark out these days but it’s rare to get chills all over. Seeing highlights of that Villano III match, in my opinion the greatest lucha libre match of all time and one of the five greatest matches ever, on a CMLL stream was bone chilling for me.
Of course it was all made better by CMLL building to it throughout the show with special video messages from several CMLL legends. There was Ringo Mendoza, Jerry Estrada, a masked Blue Panther, Rayo de Jalisco Jr., El Satánico; my personal favorite video message was La Sombra’s, mostly because it’s so cool to see a big WWE star still acknowledge how much lucha libre means to him. These videos were the perfect buildup to that tribute and it made it all the more sweeter to see. And hey, when we finally did get back to the live feed to see Atlantis in the ring (clad in the longest, whitest cape I’ve ever seen in my life) things were still good. A few people whose identities escape me came out, Atlantis sons made appearances, there was dancing around the ring and I may be mistaken but Atlantis looked to be on the verge of tears several times. So was I. I have tried many times to spell out what Atlantis means to me and I’ll probably never get it right. That’s okay because these scenes put it better than I ever could just how much Atlantis means to newer fans like myself, older fans who have been with him since the beginning and lucha libre in general. It was a tremendous moment, one that I reckon will only be equaled by either the LA Park-Rush post match at the Aniversario or Negro Casas’ own celebration later this year. And it wasn’t over!
Atlantis, Octagón, Rayo de Jalisco Jr. defeated Fuerza Guerrera, Máscara Año 2000, Último Guerrero two falls to one
In case AAA’s main event being fun wasn’t enough proof, this match confirmed it was truly a night of miracles by not being terrible at all! And I’m talking by both legends matches standards and even regular standards; this wasn’t bad! Frankly there were only three things I could’ve lived without; Octagón’s bumping (my Grodd man, if you can take a bump, don’t be in there to sell!), the bizarre second fall finish where the technicos won after forcing Máscara Año 2000 and Fuerza Guerrera to pin each other and Rayo de Jalisco Jr.’s everything. I was perplexed as to why he was in this match over someone like Máscara Sagrada (who I remind you was a trios teammate and champion with both Atlantis and Octagón for CMLL) and I remain so afterwards; he added absolutely nothing to the match and didn’t seem nearly as enthused about the whole thing as everyone else did. In the end though it was a small price to pay as I thought everyone else gave it their best, with the UG in particular giving an all world effort. You can tell Atlantis and their history together means a lot to him, and the UG went out of his way to make sure this match was as good as it could be and to make sure Atlantis got him up for La Atlantida at the end (something we were all unsure of after last week). Throw in the fact that CMLL did not in fact use this match to set up an Atlantis-Fuerza Guerrera or Octagón-Fuerza Guerrera mask match and I’d call this an unqualified success. Everyone but Rayo tried, nothing looked that bad, the crowd was into it and most importantly it meant everything to the man it was honoring. As far as legends matches go, I’d call it a complete success.
CMLL World Tag Team Championship Match
Rush & Terrible defeated Valiente & Volador Jr.
I’ve now seen this match (in whole or in pieces) two times and I think I can make this conclusion; it wasn’t quite as good as the Torneo a Parejas Increibles final but it was still pretty damn good. And I may be underrating it because the two times I did see it I was a) mostly paying attention to AAA and b) dozing in and out like Naito at a G1 presser.
In any event if the worst thing I can say is this match was slightly below one of the best matches CMLL’s done this year, I’d say that’s still a pretty good sign. It was very much in the same vein as Volador’s big matches these days; slow build, epic third fall, the climax to end all climaxes. I’m not sure at this point that we’ll ever see the Volador who unleashed his full arsenal in big matches (has he even done the crowd dive in the last few years?) but even if Volador has retired some of his high flying moves, he’s replaced them with better storytelling elements and a feel for the big moment. Ditto for Valiente, though I must admit it was disappointing not to see him break out the Valiente Special in this one. Alas it may not have mattered what they did because this was another night where Terrible was completely on and Rush was giving it his all. It’s been an amazing year for those two considering it was just a year ago Terrible looked stuck in the mid card and Rush looked to not give a single, solitary shit about what he was doing. Now the two are out there almost every week in good to great (sometimes classic) matches, wrestling up to their competition and winning titles, which they did again here to my surprise with a repeat of how they won the Torneo a Parejas Increibles earlier this year. I have no idea why it happened or what it means; I do know that Volador has now lost all three of his major titles he had in the middle of March (which means something) and that he was screwed over for the second time this year by the guy who wants to unmask his cousin LA Park (which also means something). Maybe Volador-Rush is the short term direction till LA Park gets back? Maybe Volador-Rush has been the direction all along? Who knows and who cares when the ride is this good.
That’s game sports fans. I’m now off to fall asleep while watching the G1 because dog sitting has strange hours. I’ll see you soon. Till then!
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