The only way to start off this review is to break out that Batman: The Animated Series gif from “Heart of Ice.”
Yeah, it was that kind of show sports fans and I mean that in the best way. Going in we knew this was going to be a CMLL show to remember thanks to Soberano-Cavernario II. What we didn’t know is that a) that match would end up being one of the best bouts of 2018 and b) that two other matches on this card would deliver better than expected results. In other words, the one match show became an overall really good show, pushed to great because that Soberano-Cavernario match was that damn good. I’m not joking; it was like jamming to “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Iron Maiden while watching Speed Racer as you hold a Sunkist Orange soda in your hand. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it now! So what are we waiting for; let’s get to the reviewing so you can see for yourself what made this show so rad.
Apocalipsis & Inquisidor defeated Bengala & Retro two falls to one
I’ll give these four this much; they were trying as hard as they could in this match. Unfortunately they’re all mediocre at best so this match was still mediocre despite the effort. I guess if I had to pick a standout I’d say it was Inquisidor; the brother of Pólvora is always someone who I dread watching going in and then he ends up showing enough that I wonder if he’s a tiny bit better than he is. That or Pólvora is moonlighting as him in order to help his bro out. Whatever’s the case Inquisidor was the best guy in this match and that says all you need to know. I just hope at some point CMLL sees that Retro is totally miscast as a technico and needs to be made a rudo ASAP. How anyone on earth thinks a tall, lanky, non high flyer, non mat based dude makes a good technico is beyond me. It’s like hiring Hayden Christensen to do Shakespeare. To like sand…or not to like sand. That is the question. The answer by the way is no; that shit is coarse, rough and it truly does get everywhere!
Pequeño Olímpico, Pequeño Universo 2000, Pequeño Violencia defeated Acero, Aéreo, Fantasy two falls to one
If the first match wasn’t enough for you, its successor had more of the same; good effort from all six guys and a whole lot of “who gives a shit?!” because everyone other than Aéreo isn’t very good. Naturally Aéreo wasn’t allowed to do much outside of hurricanrana’s and a few cool arm drags so it’s not like he was that exciting either. I don’t get it with CMLL in this instance; they know the crowd can use a bit of a pick me up to get the show hot (though in this case the crowd was into the match for some bizarre reason), so why not have these guys try something? Instead it was just basic lucha libre with some strong efforts that weren’t going to amount to anything. Lame. I will say this though; Pequeño Violencia no longer is embarrassing to watch in these matches. I’m not sure when that happened but he did try and he only kind of sucked! Congrats to you Pequeño Violencia. You no longer make me want to turn on Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time every time I watch you work.
Cancerbero, Espanto Jr., Raziel defeated Astral, Eléctrico, Pegasso two falls to one
Ladies and gentlemen I have seen buzzer beaters in National Championship Games, I cheered on the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim when they made their Cinderella run to the Stanley Cup finals in 2003 behind the lord Jean-Sébastien Giguère; I’ve even witnessed a grown man satisfy a camel (just kidding; or am I?!). Nothing in my life shocked me more than this match. It was good! IT WAS HONEST TO GRODD GOOD! A match, with Cancerbero, Raziel and Espanto teaming together against Pegasso, Astral and Eléctrico was good.
I’m still not quite sure how this happened and yet I’ll do my best to explain. I thought this match was done for after Eléctrico and Astral had a bit of a communication break down with Cancerbero and Raziel in fall one, the sort of thing that generally leads to those two giving up on the technicos. So it comes with great joy that I say they didn’t; instead the rudos worked hard, based very well for both Astral and Eléctrico and as a result the match slowly and surely got better before crescendoing with an awesome triple dive spot for the technicos. A triple dive spot for Astral, Eléctrico and Pegasso! The wildest part of it all is that it may not have been the best part of the match, with Eléctrico launching Pegasso into the air for an awesome springboard arm drag (with help from Cancerbero and Raziel of course) also being super impressive. Even without those sick spots I thought the match held up well; they cut a good pace, the technicos worked their asses off and Espanto was kept to a minimum (and what he did he did well). It all came down to whether Cancerbero and Raziel wanted to show up and tonight was one of the rare occasions they did. Good for them and great for Astral and Eléctrico; whatever their faults those two try hard all the time against those two and a hardly ever rewarded for their efforts. They were tonight with this match, a really nice surprise on a show I didn’t expect to have any.
Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa, Stuka Jr. defeated Disturbio, Misterioso Jr., Universo 2000 Jr. two falls to one
I can’t believe we’re living in a world where this match was overshadowed by the last match. This is one trippy alternate universe I’ve landed in. In fairness to this match, the biggest crime against it was that it didn’t get a lot of time. For what they had I thought all six guys did pretty well, with the exception of one Guerrero Maya slip on the ropes that he covered well because duh, he’s Guerrero F’in Maya! Even if we did take points off for that he made up for it later with an absolutely killer suicide dive. Other than that we got the always reliable solid performances from Cometa and Stuka, Disturbio and Misterioso doing okay with limited work, some good finishes to falls one and two (a surprise rudo roll up and THE TRIPLE ROLL UP! It actually worked!) and a very solid performance from Universo 2000 Jr. I continue to be encouraged with his recent work and this performance was another step in the right direction. Roll all that up and it was enough for some nice escapism that, with a few more minutes, could’ve been pretty solid.
Soberano Jr. defeated Cavernario two falls to one
Once more, we start this off with that Batman gif.
Let me tell you something sports fans; if we’re not looking back on Soberano-Cavernario II as the best match of 2018 come this December, I can only assume it’s because Carístico vs. Mistico actually did happen at the Aniversario or because Soberano-Cavernario III happened at a major event. This wasn’t just better than Titán-Mephisto, it lapped it. And the reason why is because CMLL did this completely different from how you’d expect. The first two falls of this match were all Cavernario. And when I say all, I mean he dominated all but a five second clip where Soberano dodged a few moves before getting caught in a powerbomb. Otherwise Cav just flat out eviscerated him, from attacking him before the bell to swinging him into the barricade three straight times in the wheelbarrow to tearing Soberano’s mask to even tearing Soberano’s pants! Now we know why Valiente went without them for so long; he was scared of this happening to him! The story of the first two falls (and even the first few minutes of the third) was that Cavernario was dominant he could’ve ended it whenever he wanted, and in fact he did pull Soberano up after a few covers and only lost fall two because he unmasked the technico. If one didn’t know better you would’ve thought these first two falls were CMLL remaking Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena from Summerslam 2014, with Cav as Brock, Soberano as Cena and Edgar as himself. It was that much of a one sided beat down.
Here’s the genius of it though; Cavernario was so dominant and so evil in his attack that the Arena Mexico crowd (which was pretty good prior to this) got completely sucked into this match, which paid dividends when Soberano made his comeback. And what a comeback it was; Soberano knocked off a breathtaking triangle crossbody to the floor and a crossbody off the stage in succession, putting the match over the top and leading to an outstanding back and forth final stretch to put an exclamation point on this near nineteen minute classic. What impressed me most was how Soberano handled the comeback; instead of doing his usual tornillos he went for the simpler crossbody’s, a sign that he could still fly after the beat down but that Cavernario had dominated him so much that he wasn’t quite able to pull off his usual tricks. That’s an underrated story beat that will get lost in this and it shouldn’t because it was brilliant in its subtlety. But then again everything about this was unbelievable. Cavernario’s dominance, Soberano’s resilience, the late back and forth, the teases of stuff like Cavernario’s splash to the floor, Cav being shown several time to have the match won only to choose for punishment instead of victory (which bit him in the ass), the molten hot crowd; this is the stuff classic matches are made of. And in my opinion this was without a doubt a classic match, with the only flaw being that CMLL didn’t give Cavernario the win to set up a rematch next week! I hope we get to see it eventually because holy shit this was something else. The best match in Arena Mexico to this point in 2018, and I have to believe it’ll be hard for anyone to top it.
Diamante Azul, Dragón Lee, Matt Taven defeated Ephesto, Mephisto, Terrible two falls to one
Not to talk about Soberano-Cavernario some more (okay, twist my arm) but there was a time where I thought the most notable aspect of this match was that these six were wrestling in a ring still filled with pesos the fans through in after Soberano and Cavernario’s classic. Mephisto was even picking up some of the money and keeping it for himself! You know you’ve done well when that’s happening. Fortunately for us that turned out to be just a silly occurrence compared to the rest because this match was actually pretty solid. I think we all expected these six to kind of phone it in after the main event, but instead they got a bit of time and delivered a fun main event. Diamante Azul got to show off his Monkey Flipping skills, Mephisto was good, Ephesto was barely around and thus couldn’t weigh this match down and Matt Taven, Dragón Lee and Terrible were all great, especially with each other. I don’t know if CMLL has any plans for Lee and Terrible to eventually throw down, but they should after they delivered a second straight epic stare down. I’d almost pay full price for tickets just to watch them do that for a full two hour show! Obviously this was nowhere close to the semi-main in quality, but it was nice to see a main event that looked dead in the water instead try to do stuff instead of just getting in and getting out. A good effort, and like the show itself, it was far better than expected.
That’s game sports fans. I’ll see you Thursday for a preview of CMLL’s Super Viernes show on Friday, barring a big story that needs to be dissected. Till then, let’s honor Soberano vs. Cavernario one more time.
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