CMLL’s second biggest show of the year, Homenaje a Dos Leyendas, has included some of the biggest and best matches in the recent history of the promotion. Nothing close to that is happening at this year’s Homenaje a Dos Leyendas. CMLL is instead rolling out a disappointing main event with one person who obviously doesn’t belong and a random assortment of stars in undercard matches. It is a lazy show rewarding politically connected wrestlers, which makes it a perfect example of where CMLL is at in 2019.

Homenaje a Dos Leyendas takes place this Friday night in Mexico City. It starts locally at the usual 8:30 pm time. However, if you changed your clocks this weekend, this show will start one hour later than usual. (Mexico doesn’t change their clocks until April.) It is unclear if this will be an iPPV; CMLL has waited until the last moment to announce the most recent iPPVs shows. The last iPPV, back in October, was something of a disaster, and you’d be advised to wait for other people to find out if it is actually working before paying for it yourself.

It is a CMLL card, so: there are six matches on the show, and not much is going outside the top two matches.

Audaz, Esfinge, Tritón vs Hijo del Villano III, Pólvora, Vangellys

Esfinge & Triton have been on a slight roll with usual third partner Titan and should keep winning even without him. Audaz is in Titan’s place after a bit of reshuffling higher up on the card. It is good to get a big show appearance of one of CMLL’s most exciting young técnicos, and it is also interesting given who given the other options CMLL could’ve given that place. Atlantis Jr. definitely seemed like he’d be a big part of this card given how high he was booked after returning from his FantasticaMania debut. Instead, he’s going on a month without a streaming appearance, with CMLL seemingly backing off on his push. Atlantis Jr. seemed not ready for the positions he was being put in and a step back was the correct, if unusual, move. Atlantis Jr,’s generational rival Hijo del Villano has had his own struggles, so it is surprising a similar move was not made to him. CMLL has just as many interchangeable rudos they could put in this spot too.

Átomo, El Gallito, Microman vs Chamuel, Mije, Zacarias el Perico

Micro match appearances are still rare enough to feel special every time. The crew has become one of the more in-demand CMLL acts for spot shows, and the best at winning over cold audiences. The one issue is a lack of depth in the division, especially on the técnico side. Microman’s great, Gallito is good and then it falls off quite a bit with Atomo & Micro Angel. We haven’t actually seen Atomo since Christmas, so perhaps he’s found some improvement. His partners somehow keep getting better. Microman is undefeated in Arena Mexico and that is unlikely to change on this show

Diamante Azul, Soberano Jr., Titán vs Ephesto, Mephisto, Templario

This was meant to be a show safely free of Diamante Azul, but the card changes took that needed break away. Azul is coming off a plodding anti-climatic singles match with Gilbert el Boricua last week. It was something that was built up for weeks and seems intended for a big match this summer, despite not actually being any good or over. Azul will be able to hide better in this trios until it is time to do his few flashy spots. The rest of this match seems like a faster encounter, where Templario should mix well with two of his recent singles opponents. Titan has been on fire for the last few weeks, and his run of impressive wins would certainly mean something in other promotions. He’ll likely get another one here, though I’m still unconvinced of CMLL having an actual direction for him.

NGD (Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón) vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Gilbert el Boricua, Negro Casas

This match still seems a bit unsettled. Negro Casas was scheduled to return from a long injury absence a week and a half ago, did not, and there’s no update on his status. A fully healthy Negro Casas alongside Barbaro Cavernario should make up for Gilbert’s limited mobility. CMLL has also recently brought back Mr. Niebla from his own long stint away for different reasons.) This match looks a lot different if Niebla is used as a sub in here, though he’ll be celebrated as if a returning king by this crowd. Nueva Generacion Dinamtia is likely to win either way.

Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero © vs Carístico, Dragón Lee, Volador Jr. for the CMLL Trios Championship

This is not what was announced by CMLL originally, and that’s half the problem with this card. Penta & Fenix were scheduled to team with Volador. It would give the show some first time ever matchups with the Guerreros and the oddity of the Lucha Brothers being in big title matches for CMLL & AAA in back to back nights. That appeal was dashed a couple of weeks ago when CMLL pulled King Phoenix & Penta 0M with no explanation. (Everyone’s tried to come up with their own; the best guess is it has something to do with the feud between CMLL’s TV partner Televisa and AAA’s TV partner Azteca.) Carístico & Dragon Lee are very good, and this may be a match fans would’ve been happy with if it was the originally announced one. There’s not really that much of a drop off in the quality of the match. There’s still a big difference in the specialness of it, as this new random collection of tecnicos has no particular identity and definitely aren’t unique opponents. The Guerreros will retain, the match will be great, and everyone will still be a little disappointed.

Ángel de Oro & Niebla Roja vs La Bestia Del Ring & Terrible in a double hair versus double hair match

There’s a gem of a good idea here. Brothers Angel de Oro & Niebla Roja have connected with the fans much better since being unmasked. A big win on Homenaje a Dos Leyendas, where Angel de Oro lost his mask last year, is a great full circle moment. Terrible is well liked and delivers in big matches, except perhaps for properly pulling people into position for Styles Clashes.

The problem, as always, is La Bestia del Ring. It’s one thing that one of the most error-prone wrestlers on the roster is kept around as a benefit to his talented sons. There are a lot of luchadors in CMLL who aren’t any good but successfully hidden in midcard matches of no importance. It’s another that La Bestia del Ring keeps finding his way into big apuesta matches and the biggest matches of the year. This is Bestia’s third apuesta match since 2017. His sons Dragon Lee, Místico and Rush have been in one combined. Bestia has had more apuesta matches since 2017 than Cavernario, Último Guerrero and Volador combined. There are story reasons – Terrible & Bestia are Ingobernables partners—and logistical reasons—they needed someone who could take a hair loss and Rush is busy elsewhere anyway—but all of that is a result of bad process and worse concepts. Someone who wasn’t 40+ years old or related to Rush should’ve been added to Los Ingobernables long ago for a situation like this, and there’s no real reason it had to be a tag match at all. Terrible versus either Angel de Oro or Niebla Roja would’ve been better, and would’ve given the outcome some doubt. Even as bad as CMLL’s judgment was in putting together this match, they’re not so far gone to have the pretty young men lose to their hair to their ugly old guys.

This is not a terrible wrestling show. The semi-main should be pretty great. Something, maybe multiple somethings will hit on the undercard. Everyone’s gotten really skilled at working around La Bestia del Ring’s weaknesses and they’ll all be trying very hard in the main event. The effort on a big CMLL show is rarely disappointing, but the booking continued to be just that. This Homenaje a Dos Leyendas main event is a tag team match no one wanted to see, following last year’s Aniversario main event of a tag team match no one wanted to see. The inclusion of LA Park, Fenix, and Penta in CMLL last year masked a lot of structural problems and talent issues with CMLL. The shortcomings are obvious with no indie names to prop up the card; there are no hot acts here, and there are no great attempts to make any. Early reports show the weak effort in designing this card has been matching by week ticket sales to see it.

Homenaje a Dos Leyendas should be decent enough to watch if free, but this is an easy one to justify skipping if CMLL decides to charge for it. There’s no sense in supporting a promotion content to barely try.