I’ll say this later in the review but it bears repeating here at the start; thank Grodd Stuka vs. Último Guerrero was booked for this show. As expected this CMLL Tuesday event was mostly a miss early on, with mismatched pieces, Shocker and injuries leaving the first four matches in the mediocre category. Thus it was on UG and Stuka to save the show and they did with an exceptionally fun title match. But why describe it all now when we’ll get there in about ten minutes or so? Sorry sports fans; sometimes you gotta wade through the bad stuff first before you get to where you want to be.
Mercurio & Pequeño Nitro defeated Acero & Aéreo two falls to one
So I actually missed the first two falls of this match! Turns out CMLL put up two links for tonight’s show on YouTube, I clicked the wrong one and only figured out the problem once the match got into fall three. I’m honestly not sure if I should feel bad about this or ecstatic I escaped having to watch the opener! In any event what I did see was more of the same from these guys. Mercurio and Pequeño Nitro did nothing, Acero did less than nothing and my Grodd will someone just put Aéreo out of his misery already?! It’s like watching Wayne Rooney in Major League Soccer for crying out loud.
Akuma, Espanto Jr., Nitro defeated Magia Blanca, Retro, Star Jr. two falls to one
For a few minutes I thought I had gotten lucky again. For whatever reason Sensei was a no show this evening, allowing for a huge upgrade in the form of Magia Blanca to take his place. The Copa Nuevos Valores winner then proceeded to make a Christopher Plumber in All the Money in the World style difference with a strong performance, the best in the match and one that actually made everything watchable. Naturally he was rewarded for this by having Akuma roll onto his ankle after a Retro arm drag sent the rudo into Blanca’s direction.
The potentially good news here is that ankles are rolled frequently and it’s possible that Blanca got a sprain and is otherwise fine. If not then this is devastating, both because Blanca was starting to come into his own and because, like Dante Hicks, he wasn’t supposed to be here today. What an unfortunate thing to happen, especially since Blanca was carrying this match. I’m sure Star Jr. had something big planned for the back end and he was fine with what he did, but Blanca’s injury cut the match short and left Star Jr. with little to do. That meant the rest of the match was Espanto and Nitro slumming it, Akuma giving a good effort and doing pretty decent overall and Retro continuing to look like a fish out of water. Maybe this would’ve wound up better if Blanca doesn’t get hurt and more spots were done but even still, this was just an okay match prior to that and only because Blanca was on his game.
Disturbio, Okumura, Virus defeated Esfinge, Stigma, Tritón two falls to one
Like the last match, this felt like a pretty good bout in the making that just never quite got off the ground. Unlike the last match it had nothing to do with an unforeseen injury. Instead this match suffered because CMLL inexplicably gave the whole match to the rudos after the first fall. The result was a lot of beat downs and not a whole lot else, which was problematic considering the best guy in this match was Tritón by a vast mile. Not only did he bring his The Shape of Tritón gear for the occasion but he also brought his A game, working a dynamic first fall that saw him show off his breathtaking athleticism with an outstanding sequence to close it out. He never get an opportunity to do that again, instead just selling for the rudos the rest of the way. It would’ve been fine if it was Virus mostly just kicking ass, but with the action split between the rudos and Disturbio and Okumura just coasting, it left a lot to be desired. What a waste of Tritón’s The Shape of Tritón costume huh?
Felino, Hechicero, Shocker defeated Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr., The Panther two falls to one
It’s like I said in the preview; put anyone but Shocker in this match and we would’ve had something. Instead Shocker was here and CMLL inexplicably gave him a lot of time in the ring because it’s CMLL and of course they did. I’ll give Shocker this though; he did take Junior’s backbreakers well and didn’t break into a million pieces when Junior hit an outstanding Chokeslam on him. We’re talking The Giant in 1995 WCW good levels of chokeslam people. And somehow Shocker walked away despite looking like he looks to be in rougher shape than Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now.
Enough about Shocker, at least for the moment; he was bad and it’s a shame because everyone else was good. All three Panthers were sublime as expected; Junior continues to look impressive in his recent hot streak, Panther got in a really nice suicide dive and Blue Panther messed around, did a hurricanrana and had many great sequences with Hechicero. In fact the two of them seemed to be going into business for themselves at certain points, trying to draw any sort of heat they could. It worked; if only CMLL had decided to focus on that instead of Shocker. That he was so prevalent, coupled by Felino having nothing to do after an exciting yet brief sequence with Panther in fall two, held this match back. What a shame; we had something otherwise.
NWA World Historic Middleweight Championship
Último Guerrero defeated Stuka Jr. two falls to one
Like watching an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode while indulging on a chill zone sized Sunkist, this match was exactly what you thought it would be and that’s just the way it should’ve been.
This was peak Último Guerrero sports fans. Actually it was peak Stuka too; I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the technico better than he was here, hitting all his big moves, looking confident and never letting the moment get too big for him. That doesn’t seem like a big deal but it is when you’re a guy perpetually in the midcard like poor Stuka is. But as good as the veteran was, UG was somehow that much better. All the classic tropes of his matches were there but as with the best UG matches, this worked because of how he spaced out all his usual moves. It took until the back end for him to finally break out the Front Superplex, the Top Rope Powerbomb and all that jazz, which not only allowed for more freedom early on but made it all the more important when Stuka continued to survive as the match trudged towards conclusion. I know it worked because Arena Mexico couldn’t have been more into this match down the stretch if LA Park himself was there toweling UG off. It was great stuff and the ending was outstanding stuff, with Stuka getting his feet on the ropes after the Guerrero Special, the Stuka Splash being hit followed by another near fall and UG finally stealing the match with a roll up in dramatic fashion. I loved it. Frankly I loved the whole match; it was paced perfectly, both guys gave great efforts, all the moves looked excellent, so on and so forth. I suppose your opinion will come down to whether or not you’ve seen these two before; I hadn’t so perhaps that’s enough for me to rank this as great as opposed to good. But regardless of your mileage with these two, I can’t see how anyone wouldn’t say this was a really strong match that’s well worth watching. Thank Grodd because without it this show would’ve potentially been the death of me.
Atlantis, Carístico, Mistico defeated Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto two falls to one
Remember when I used to be right about describing these main events after big singles matches as “let’s get out quick to make our reservation”? Pepperidge Farm remembers. I swear one day I’ll get one of those predictions right again. Hell I could argue I did here as this was a particularly long match. But it wasn’t a match where everyone phoned it in either. Carístico and Mistico were both trying and Mistico in particular finally looked like a guy who wasn’t the worst luchadore in his match. It’s been awhile hasn’t it. The rudos were pretty solid overall themselves and, while it still wasn’t close to his old standard, it was nice to see Atlantis do a little better tonight and great to see him win a match with La Atlantida. If nothing else he can still do that! It wasn’t close to UG-Stuka but I appreciated these guys giving a bit of an effort and it was probably the second best match on this show. I’m not sure what that says about everything before Stuka-UG!
We’re done here sports fans. I’m off to watch TV, but you’ll see me tomorrow for Part 3 of the Top 100 Lucha Underground matches series. Till then, THIS!
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