A seemingly throwaway title defense on a FantsticaMania show two months ago has turned into a mask match on CMLL’s second biggest show of the year. Cuatrero and Ángel de Oro will continue CMLL’s recent trend of new faces in big main events when they headline CMLL’s Homenaje a Dos Leyendas show this Friday.

CMLL Homenaje a Dos Leyendas airs Friday at 9:30pm CT. (Mexico has not yet begun Daylights Savings Time.) The show is an iPPV on internet.TV. It costs 100 Mexican Pesos if you’re purchasing from a Mexican IP, and $10 USD if you’re elsewhere. The show will be available to watch on VOD, though it seemed to disappear from their library a few days after the last iPPV aired. Matches from this show will eventually air on Azteca USA’s Lucha Azteca show on April 1st.

This is the usual CMLL big show card, with two important matches and four others to get other people involved. There is an additional draw this time. CMLL’s Homenaje a Dos Leyendas annually honors the founder of the promotion, Salvador Lutteroth and a luchador from the past. This year’s luchador honoree is Mil Mascaras. It’s Mil’s first appearance in the building in eight years. Mascaras is still active, still even wrestles occasionally at the age of 76, but he doesn’t appear close to CMLL management. There’s always chance this is the last time one of the legends of Arena Mexico will be honored in the building in person, and that alone will be a big reason to come out for older fans. CMLL always has a moment of celebration for that year’s luchador. This one might be the biggest.

The matches on this show are:

Audaz, Flyer, Star Jr. versus Disturbio, Templario, Virus

Audaz is CMLL’s prospect of the moment. His first feud is against Virus, a smart pick to help coach up and carry the youngster when needed. Templario might be even more promising as a rudo. Flyer is showing improvement this year. Star Jr and Disturbio are still riding the wave of a successful Japan trip. This should be a strong start for the show.

Kaho Kobayashi, Marcela, Princesa Sugehit vs Dalys, La Seductora, Zeuxis

CMLL’s women division has been drifting along aimlessly for months. It’s a surprise CMLL thought enough of them to even include them on this show when they can’t come up with a title program. Maybe something will come out of this, with both the world (Dalys) and Mexican (Sugehit) champions involved. Kaho Kobayashi, in the back half of a three month visit to CMLL, is also holds the CMLL-REINA International Junior Championship. REINA doesn’t seem to exist at the moment, so it’s not clear if title still does either. It’s also not clear why La Seductora, one of the least impressive wrestlers on the roster, is on this show at all. Everyone else is fine.

Dragón Lee, Mistico, Rush vs Forastero, Máscara Año 2000, Sansón

There’s a nominal Munoz/Dinamita feud going on here. La Bestia del Ring (the former Pierroth, still the current father of all those guys on the left) just lost to old man Mascara 2000 a few days ago in a singles match no one wanted to see. The other family members have crossed paths as well. This is going to be something less than an all action match with Mascara involved, but Rush seems to like to brawl with him and Dragon Lee & Mistico typically have impressive performances on big CMLL shows. The real goal is to get as many Dinamitas around as possible for the main event.

Atlantis, Matt Taven, Niebla Roja vs Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero

Matt Taven makes his fourth trip to Mexico. He seems destined to be the luchador honored on the 2048 version of Homenaje a Dos Leyendas. Before then, he’s a tecnico in this match against occasional enemy Ultimo Guerrero. Taven appears to be around for a little while, so this is another place where CMLL might start a feud. Atlantis has not looked the same since coming back from his knee injury. Everyone else is good enough to make this a worthwhile match.

Valiente & Volador Jr. vs Rey Bucanero & Terrible for the vacant CMLL Tag Team Championship

CMLL hinted at Los Ingobernables bringing aboard a new third member for months. Volador and Dragon Lee were both teased as possibilities in moments. It was an exciting moment when Terrible finally joining the group after he and Rush won the annual incredible pairs tournament. Terrible is not on the level of Dragon Lee & Volador as a great match machine. He instead is a better stylistic fit to the Los Ingobernables way of fighting, and has appeared rededicated to lucha libre over the last year. The tournament final where Rush & Terrible won and Terrible joined the faction was maybe the best Arena Mexico match of the year so far. The fans loved the story and couldn’t wait to see where it would lead next.

It’s led to nothing. Los Ingobrenables are teaming, just only on the one Arena Mexico event a week which goes untelevised. Meanwhile, Terrible was assigned his old partner Rey Bucanero for this other tag team tournament. Terrible had implicitly split with Bucanero by joining Los Ingobernables, which seemed to peg them as making a first round exit. They instead advanced to the tournament final, getting along perfectly fine as if one didn’t just walk out on the other. CMLL is either taking the air out of a story which was working well, or making as little sense as usual.

Rey Bucanero & Terrible did not have some special partnership where being back together met something. Terrible, Bucanero, Shocker and occasionally Vangellys made up the TGR group, one which wasn’t over or having good matches. Part of the joy in seeing Terrible join Los Ingobernables was also him escaping those anchors. Rey Bucanero was one of CMLL’s best wrestlers for a decade and an all-time great tag team luchador. He’s also been physically done for years, his hard bumping style causing him to look a lot older than 43. He’s unlikely to have a great match nowadays, and matching him up with the action oriented Volador and Valiente is an especially bad fit.

This tournament is happening because CMLL decided Negro Casas & Shocker had gone too long without defending these tag team championships. They had gone over a year, due to injuries and bad timing, but they were both healthy and ready to defend the titles at the time CMLL stripped them. There was a thought that CMLL just wanted them out of the way to have a bigger or better tag title match on this show. It hasn’t worked out that way. Casas & Shocker are bigger stars than Bucanero & Terrible. Bucanero & Terrible will have a better match than Shocker, but not better than Casas, and Casas has history with Volador on this show. There’s no outward logic to any of this.

Ángel de Oro vs El Cuatrero, mask vs mask

In the 2017 luchablog abstract, I wrote 2017 was the year where CMLL needed to try something new with Ángel de Oro or move on. I did not guess CMLL would actually try.

Ángel de Oro has won a mask, won multiple championships, and yet never has had a truly big match. Even the FantasticaMania match which set this up was a third from the top match, something that seemed like an incidental title match just to fill out Japan card. Oro has loitered around the upper midcard forever, waiting for this opportunity. Just getting that chance on a show like this is victory, no matter if he wins or losses in this match.

He’s probably losing. Ángel de Oro had to wait ten years for this chance. Cuatrero is getting it in two. CMLL’s quick push of the Nueva Generacion Dinamitas, Cuatrero, Sanson, Forastero and occasionally Universo 2000 Jr., has few precedents in their history. (Mil Mascaras happenes to be on who got an even quicker push.)

Cuatrero has talent, potential, and a prestigious family history, but that still will guarantee a CMLL luchador no more than a million matches against Misterioso & Sagrado. Cuatrero’s height helps, and coming along at a time where CMLL decided they needed fresh rudos at the top really helped.

It’s hard to imagine Ángel de Oro winning. His brother Niebla Roja lost his mask on the last CMLL show of this size, and has definitely been better off for it. Cuatrero’s brother and cousins are all still masked, and CMLL likes uniformity in it’s teams. The general public seems to expect that outcome too, since it’s coming so quickly after Roja lost his own mask. It still should be intriguing enough to get people to come out to see it happen.

Angel de Oro & Cuatrero’s match on FantasticaMania was good if not great. They’ll have more time and opportunity in this rematch. It’ll be a challenge. Cuatrero is still very untested as a solo act. Ángel de Oro often just shows the same set of moves in every match, and I’m not sure how he’ll do when he’s asked to go deeper. Gran Guerrero versus Niebla Roja was doubted as a match going in and they found a way to deliver a memorable mask mask, so the expectation is Ángel de Oro and Cuatrero will figure out something.

Should You Watch?

This would be an easy Yes if it was normal CMLL free show. It’s a tougher call as a pay show. There’s a lot of good to great stuff, and lacking something on the MOTYC level on paper. Apuestas matches never lack in drama and emotion, and I think lucha fans will end up satisfied. I’d guess most people who just check in on CMLL when it’s free will find something else to do with their time. It seems fair. The show should be good, but CMLL isn’t trying to attract anyone but their most dedicated fans for this show.