And now onto review numero dos! AAA was the big to do last night sports fans but they weren’t the only lucha show streaming. CMLL was back at it in Arena Mexico for Super Viernes with a big show of their own, thanks to Block B of the Universal Championship tournament. And thank Grodd for Block B because the early parts of this show were, in the words of Sonic the Hedgehog, no good. The opener sucked, the second match sucked; only in the third match did we finally get respectability and that wasn’t a blow away match either. But once we got to the tournament, the light came on, the matches delivered for the second straight week and we got a Cinderella Run for the second straight week! Here’s the low down in case you missed it all.
Metálico & Nitro defeated Príncipe Diamante & Robin two falls to one
I’m pretty sure this match can be summed up by that Sasha Baron Cohen quote from Talladega Nights when he gave Ricky Bobby his opinion of Highlander; IT WAS SHIT! Beyond that the only thing I have to say about this match is that Robin really should’ve helped his family wreck UG’s car. I don’t know if it would go better for him in AAA but it couldn’t be much worse than his existence in CMLL. Unless he’s just afraid he’ll wind up like Bobby Villa. Remember that guy? Is he still alive somewhere or did the UG have him vaporized at some undisclosed time?
Misterioso Jr., Okumura, Universo 2000 Jr. defeated Black Panther, Drone, Rey Cometa two falls to one
I’ll give CMLL this much; they didn’t have Rey Cometa do the hurricanrana off the apron like he always does. They’re changing it up! Sadly Cometa was the only guy in this match that really showed up; the rudos were lifeless as expected (even more so with Kawato removed) and Black Panther and Drone were unexpectedly awful. I probably would’ve been kinder to this match if they had just been average; instead they comically bad, with the low point coming on a Sunset Flip/Tornado Kick double team that was so horribly done you have to see it to believe it. Just awful. The good news is the last time we thought Black Panther was regressing he ended up having the best stretch of his career. The bad news is this match sucked and no run of any sort will change that.
Atlantis, Atlantis Jr., Mistico defeated Gran Guerrero, Hijo del Villano III, Villano IV two falls to none
May I present to you the best match on this CMLL undercard.
In fairness to this bout, the biggest criticism I can give it (apart from poor Atlantis Jr. falling on his plancha attempt) is that they only gave it two falls. Give this three and I think they may have had something more substantial. Still, for what this was it was pretty decent. His slip up aside Atlantis Jr. continues to look impressive for his experience and he’s brought out a lot more in Hijo del Villano III then what we saw previously. The youngster is still nowhere near the level of his brother (who was really good again in the AAA opener) but there’s potential there and I have to imagine CMLL is hoping that both Atlantis Jr. and Hijo del Villano III will develop based on facing big names ala Gran Guerrero. Speaking of that guy, he was excellent in this match working Mistico; they got the least amount of time in this match but made the most of it with some exciting sequences. And the Atlantis/Villano IV stuff continues to be solid, with both guys trying hard. The sneak attack at the beginning by the Villanos, and the fact that CMLL is still without a clear Homenaje a Dos Leyendas headliner, continues to indicate Atlantis-Villano IV may be the match on that show. They still need to show a bit more to get me fully hyped, but I’m not opposed to the match, especially given the history.
Bestia del Ring, Gilbert El Boricua, Rush defeated Ángel de Oro, Carístico, Valiente two falls to one
It’s quite telling when the one thing notable thing about this match was Bestia nearly killing Oro on that Cuerno Driver. Chalk that up as reason #9,001 Bestia should never wrestle again. Aside from that this match was not a whole lot. Carístico and Rush feuded a bit and those sequences really stood out, but with little chance of that going anywhere it was hard to get too excited. With that out of the way the only other thing going on in this match were Oro and Valiente coasting, mainly because Bestia is Bestia and the Artist Also Known as Mil Muertes looks more shot than Carmelo Anthony. What a pity; remember when he was one of the best workers in the world a few years ago? Pepperidge Farm remembers. They won’t be remembering this forgettable romp at least.
CMLL Universal Championship Tournament Block B
Último Guerrero defeated Diamante Azul
A tradition unlike any other; Diamante Azul being favored to win a tournament and Diamante Azul then failing to win said tournament! At this point I think we need to just stop putting the odds on him to win, no? It was clear from the beginning Azul had no chance once he started breaking out all his big moves, and in fact the only offense I saw UG get in this match was countering Azul’s ramp clothesline and the Pulpo Guerrero. What does it matter; the UG moved on, Azul went home and this match was too short to be anything noteworthy. Fortunately it was all uphill from here.
Cuatrero defeated Soberano Jr.
After watching this match I came to a conclusion of sorts; Forastero is cursed. That’s the only thing that can explain why he and Soberano just don’t click while Soberano has good to great matches every time out with Forastero’s cousins. I’m calling it “The Curse of the Screw Master.” And yes it’s absolutely because I have nothing better to do. Anyway, this match was really good! It was also really short so we didn’t get to see this match at its full potential, but even without that it was a lot of fun. Soberano was Soberano; a superstar. Meanwhile Cuatrero, who is also really good, showed he’s been holding out on us by breaking out a really nice delayed tornillo dive to the floor. He needs to start doing that more! Everything else was solid as well; I would’ve preferred Soberano win here but it’s not a Killer Kross-Vikingo situation by any means. Very good stuff and CMLL would be well to consider this over Soberano-Forastero for the next Screw Master-Dinamitas showcase bout.
Niebla Roja defeated Mephisto
This was like the Diamante Azul-UG match where one guy got a lot of offense in; the only difference is that guy won this time! Mephisto also did get to do more than the UG did so I guess that was a difference too. The bad news is this was probably the low point of Niebla Roja’s evening and definitely was his least eventful match, likely due to the time. The good news is it’s about to get a lot better for Roja going forward, and this match still wasn’t bad by any stretch.
Volador Jr. defeated Sansón
For about the 30th time in this tournament, CMLL has happily come across a match they need to go back to with much more time later on! Soberano vs. Cuatrero may have been a little bit smoother but man this was good stuff from Volador and Sansón. They’ve worked well together in the rare trios match they’ve gotten, but this was the first chance they’ve really gotten to go one on one and they clicked much like Sansón and Soberano have. They cut a great pace, only made one mistake (Volador countering the Torture Rack Blue Thunder Bomb could’ve gone better) and made up for it with a great Volador hurricanrana counter of a powerbomb to take it home. A lot of fun for the time they were given.
Último Guerrero defeated Cuatrero
Say what you will about the UG always going far in these tournaments, but man does the dude let you get all your stuff in. First it was Diamante Azul and here it was Cuatrero; he got so much stuff in he even attempted to break out his first ever moonsault! Of course that ignores the cardinal rule about wrestling Último Guerrero.
So yeah; this was fine. Cuatrero did a lot of stuff, the UG got in his dropkick, Cuatrero did more stuff, went for the moonsault and consult the meme if you want to know what happens next. Pretty standard stuff. Also understandable stuff considering that UG was saving all his shit for the end, but more on that in like two paragraphs or so.
Niebla Roja defeated Volador Jr.
I’m pretty sure as this match was starting the one thought on our mind was “here we go again with Volador vs. the UG!” And then Niebla Roja turned into Lee Corso.
Boy this was a lot of fun wasn’t it, and not just because we got a huge upset win! I’m honestly a little surprised CMLL went with Volador as the rudo (attacking Roja to start the match with his ball cap on sideways) when Roja is quietly a really good base, but it worked out well. A cocky Volador is always fun to see and he still kept his normal pace while Roja played up the underdog role very well. Throw in a few counters, some nice near falls and a great cover of the Rey Mysterio/La Sombra Canadian Destroyer spot and this was probably the second best match of the Block. I honestly would’ve said they couldn’t have put Roja over any stronger than they did here…but then there’s what came next!
Block B Final
Niebla Roja defeated Último Guerrero
Ladies and gentlemen I have seen Average Joe’s Gymnasium upset to win the 2004 Las Vegas Dodgeball Invitational, I have seen Valiente come out of nowhere to win this CMLL Universal tournament; hell I’ve even seen a grown man satisfy a camel (just kidding. Or am I?). This was something else. This was not a better match than Laredo Kid vs. Taurus on the AAA show but in some ways it was absolutely perfect. It was definitely perfect in the way CMLL set this whole thing up. There was the show long storyline of Roja, having to survive two grueling matches against Mephisto and Volador Jr., taking on an Último Guerrero who, despite getting little offense in, had gone through the first two rounds very quick. And of course there was the story of how not too long ago Roja was one of the UG’s protégé’s, teammates and friends, and how since splitting with Los Guerreros he hadn’t been able to get one over on the UG (aside from his win over Gran Guerrero at FantasticaMania). In the end Roja needed to overcome three things in this match; the UG himself (ever confident walking to the ring), exhaustion and history. He conquered all three in a very good UG style match that felt so much bigger because of all that. Roja’s celebration and the UG’s sell of losing just sold all that all over again.
And thus we are now left with Niebla Roja vs. Terrible next week to determine the CMLL Universal Championship. Raise your hand if you had that one! It’s tempting to say CMLL should’ve gone with the obvious Dragón Lee vs. UG match instead (which would’ve been killer) but the unexpected nature of Roja-Terrible makes it exciting. Well that and the great stories of both men. It wasn’t too long ago Terrible was stuck in a dead end stable with Shocker, Rey Bucanero and Vangellys, while Niebla Roja’s technico turn was being booed out of the building and speculation was his CMLL tenure was coming to an end. Now Terrible is Mexican National Heavyweight Champ and a top CMLL rudo as part of Los Ingobernables, while Roja has become one of the more underrated performers in CMLL. I cannot believe how far he’s come from that Aniversario two years ago; I never would’ve thought he was capable of this but here he is. It’s awesome. It’s not always true what they say about great talent always rising to the top but sometimes, like this, shit has a way of working out. This was super cool to see and I can’t wait to see Roja and Terrible next week. It may not be the nail biting tension piece the UG/Dragón Lee would’ve been, but I expect it’ll be epic in its own private way.
And with that I am not writing again for the rest of the day! Just kidding; I’ll be back later tonight with a preview of tomorrow’s AAA show. TILL THEN, the return of Ahnuld doing Dune lines.
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