CONSEJO MUNDIAL DE LUCHA LIBRE
HOMENAJE A 2 LEYENDAS 2019
MARCH 15, 2019
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
Watch: YouTube (CMLL Oficial)
There is no doubt that CMLL is in a creative low point right now… well, it has been for a long time but after their surprising and fun aperture to independent talent last year, the fact that we have to endure another uninspired, almost random feud as headliner of one of the company’s biggest show of the year has really hit hard, reminding us that ‘la seria y estable’ still lives inside their own boring bubble. However, I attended this show live and as I’ve written before, Arena México has a way to deliver big time even when you have the most underwhelming card in front of you.
HIJO DEL VILLANO III, PÓLVORA & VANGELLYS DEF. AUDAZ, ESFINGE & TRITÓN
A standard yet well-executed opener that was ideal to kick things off. Audaz was a little hesitant at first getting some undeserved boos from the rudo fans, but he found his footing and quickly earned the respect of those that mocked him. Some spectacular dives pumped up the crowd, setting the mood for the rest of the show… and there would be no coming back. Everyone performed well, even Vangellys whose timing was crucial to stop the técnicos pressure just when it was at it’s highest. Pólvora got the win with a Súper Pólvora Driver to the delight of the rudo crowd. Fun match that delivered what was needed of it. ***¼
ÁTOMO, EL GALLITO & MICROMAN DEF. CHAMUEL, MIJE & ZACARÍAS EL PERICO
First time watching the all mighty Microman live and it was worth the wait. The man was totally over and the match was built around him and his eventual comeback. During the first two falls, Mije, Chamuel and Zacarías kept blocking him, not letting him get any type of momentum. Gallito and Atomo played their parts, trying to protect Microman but almost always failing at it. After being humiliated over and over by the rudos, Microman ran over Chamuel, receiving an enormous pop from the crowd and a chant of his name. After Microman got the win with a splash over Chamuel, the ring was pelted by money as the fans recognized the minis’ effort. This wasn’t an outstanding match, but seeing Microman fly around the ring and the way the crowd reacted to it, made it a very cool experience. ***
DIAMANTE AZUL, SOBERANO JR. & TITÁN DEF. EPHESTO, MEPHISTO & TEMPLARIO
This was a fast-paced affair that surprisingly ended in two straight falls as the técnicos overwhelmed the rudos with a flurry of spectacular offense. There was no breathing room and the crowd reacted accordingly, roaring as every luchador flew from the ramp, form the ring, from the apron… this was tremendous fun and the atmosphere definitely enhanced it. Soberano nearly injured himself with a standing shooting star press but quickly recovered to finish strong. Templario was the standout from the rudo team and Mephisto’s blue attire (in tribute to Blue Demon) was beautiful. Diamante Azul used a huge arm drag – almost powerslam like – to get the pin for the second fall. This was so much fun to watch live, an absolute sprint that would not slow down. Again, the booming sound produced by the people in attendance elevated this match for me. ****
At this point we got a very cool Blue Demon themed dancing number that was followed by the homage to Blue Demon (that’s why the show is called Homenaje a 2 Leyendas). Alejandro Muñoz, the son of Blue Demon that is not the wrestler Blue Demon Jr., came out to accept a plaque in honor of this father and unfortunately got BOOED out of the building. This was because Muñoz has some serious legal issues with Blue Demon Jr. (who is Demon’s adopted child) relating to the use of the Blue Demon name.
CUATRERO, FORASTERO & SANSÓN DEF. BÁRBARO CAVERNARIO, GILBERT EL BORICUA & NEGRO CASAS
The first fall of this match was a dull beatdown of the Dinamita brothers at the hands of Gilbert, Bárbaro and Negro, who by the way got the usual titanic reception by the crowd. In the second fall, the Dinamitas got their act together and the match took off. This became the Nueva Generación Dinamita show as they proceeded to show incredible chemistry, dominating the match and creating some much needed drama.
At one point, the Dinamitas started stomping Negro Casas into oblivion: it was a savage, vicious attack mainly focused at Negro’s leg… and the crowd exploded in anger, instantly producing nuclear heat toward the three brothers. This was the defining point of the match that pretty much summed why the Dinamitas are the best trio in the planet: they created drama through their tactics and played the crowd into their hands, finally unleashing a devastating attack that pushed the match into high gear… it was brilliant. During the third fall, Negro was commanding Arena México and everyone was going crazy for him until he tried the legendary Casita, and failed: the Dinamitas’ tactics throughout the match had worked. Just when they were in biggest danger, their tag team work throughout the match paid off, managing to render useless the finishing move of a living legend. Cuatero, Sanson and Forastero immediately attacked, and without their captain, Bárbaro and Gilbert soon fell to the mighty teamwork of the Nueva Generación Dinamita.
I absolutely loved the little story told by the Dinamitas and Negro, creating an engaging and very exciting second half. By the way, Negro Casas live is something else. The energy he projects is tremendous and watching him wrestle live at Arena Mexico is something I would encourage every wrestling fan to experience. ***¾
CMLL TRIOS CHAMPIONSHIP
EUFORIA, GRAN GUERRERO & ÚLTIMO GUERRERO DEF. CARÍSTICO, DRAGÓN LEE & VOLADOR JR.
I wasn’t too impressed by the first two falls: despite some creative teamwork by the Guerreros, I felt this was just a good match in front of a very good crowd but then, the Arena Mexico effect took over. Volador Jr. did his thing, Gran Guerrero performed some excellent power moves, and Último Guerrero engaged with Carístico in a series of nearfalls that started building what would be a ferocious finishing stretch. Volador took out Euforia, while Dragon Lee jumped over the ropes to perform an huracarrana on Gran Guerrero who was on the floor. This was just in a matter of seconds and as a result, the sound of the crowd was deafening but somehow the noise got even louder as Carístico applied his legendary Mística to Último. That was it, the Trios titles were about to change hands… but to the surprise of every single soul inside that building, Último immediately rolled Carístico’s shoulders to pin him for the three count. I swear, Arena Mexico was shaking. I rewatched the ending on video, but it doesn’t even get close to making it justice to the live experience. The hot ending was tremendous and the electricity was off the charts: this match was something else. ****1/4
LUCHA DE APUESTAS: HAIR VS. HAIR MATCH
ÁNGEL DE ORO & NIEBLA ROJA DEF. LA BESTIA DEL RING & TERRIBLE
We all knew this would not be good, but I tricked myself into thinking otherwise after having such a blast throughout the night. Reality slowly set in as Bestia del Ring’s technical ineptitude reared it’s very ugly head. This was bad. Los Ingobernables used belts to whip Angel and Niebla until they got disqualified. So, since the tecnicos had won a fall by getting crushed, that basically meant they obviously would later win another definitive fall by pinfall or submission thus destroying any small point of interest this match had. There were no stakes, no skill, no interest.
Bestia del Ring was comically bad and the Chávez brothers (Ángel & Niebla) showed to be incapable of salvaging the wreckage. Niebla, in particular, was atrocious; during a particular brawl in the crowd, Bestia threw a beer at him. Bestia returned to the ring to beat up Ángel alongside Terrible while Niebla slowly made his way to the ring in the most infuriating way possible, walking as if he had just drunk twenty beers. His timing was all over the place and his selling was almost as bad as Bestia’s, who was clearly trying to earn the title of ‘turd wrestler of the year’.
In the third fall, after people showered all four men with insults and started whistling in desperation for the match to end, Bestia pinned Niebla Roja. However, Ángel was able to overcome the odds, eliminating Bestia with a roll-up while Terrible was scratching his crotch or something. It was very dumb. That’s when everyone woke up and realized: hey, it’s down to Terrible vs. Ángel, the two most capable luchadores involved here. This could have a cool ending! Ten seconds later, Terrible dislocated his shoulder with a tope suicida. Of course. Terrible was in great pain and Tirantes tried adjusting his shoulder but failed miserably. Big props to Terrible, who tried his best to finish the match but the pain was too much for him. Angél quickly put him in the Sharpshooter hold to finish this total car wreck of a match. *
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FOTOS: Reporte del Homenaje a 2 Leyendas en la @Arena_MX en https://t.co/QVyXEAEKGe
¡Los Hermanos Chávez dejan sin cabelleras a Los Ingobernables!
📸 👊🏻 👊🏻 👊🏻 👊🏻 👊🏻 👊🏻 👊🏻 👊🏻 📸#H2LCMLL pic.twitter.com/rkyLkxnYJc
— CMLL Lucha Libre (@CMLL_OFICIAL) March 16, 2019
Once again, the Arena México experience delivered. Every wrestler that was not in the main event worked extremely hard to create a memorable show, feeding from the raw energy of an electric atmosphere that vastly improved every single match. The Guerreros Laguneros vs. Carístico/Dragon/Volador was the match of the night and thanks to the incredible live experience, I think right now is my favorite lucha match of 2019 so far. I sincerely hope some of the other matches I fondly enjoyed like Titán/Diamante/Soberano vs. Mephisto/Ephesto/Templario and NGD vs. Casas/Bárbaro/Gilbert deliver the same energy in tape as it was live, but I highly doubt it, first because there’s nothing like the Arena México experience and second, because CMLL’s production values are bad.
Despite the awful card, CMLL got once again reward by their non-existent efforts as Arena México was 90-95% full. The fact is CMLL is such an established entity that lucha libre fans will always show up at important events, so naturally the company’s booking will keep being underwhelming. For me, CMLL has become this entity where booking doesn’t matter and in order to enjoy it, you have to forget about the future, live the moment and just try to get swept away by the colorful spectacle that is lucha libre.