SEPTEMBER 16, 2023

Arena Mexico was super hot and added so much to the atmosphere of this massive event. It’s amazing how much an audible crowd can add to a big show. I don’t know how you can be a competitor in this scene and decide to keep muting the crowd to get your commentary booth over for some reason after listening to this crowd.

CMLL World Women’s Tag Team Championship
Stephanie Vaquer & Zeuxis def. La Jarochita & Lluvia

El Fantasma and Salvador Lutteroth III presented the brand new belts before the match. The chemistry these teams have against each other is off the charts. This felt, at times, like a Fire Pro simulation with a bunch of big spots happening back-to-back-to-back, including some sick tag team combinations. Zeuxis hit a Spanish Fly on Lluvia off the apron to the floor and Jarochita then followed it up with a moonsault from the apron to the floor on Zeuxis. Despite that, the match continued for a bit and included a slick pinfall combo from the eventual winners (GIF below), some more back-and-forth where both teams got some close nearfalls, and then Vaquer and Zeuxis hit a double underhook backbreaker and a package piledriver for the win. This was a hot opener and one of the – if not the – best mainstream women’s match in North America this year. ****

Copa Independencia Final
Esfinge def. Rugido

This was not as good as the opener but it was never going to come close. The match started a bit slow and just felt there until things picked up near the end when both men escaped/kicked out of the other’s finisher. Esfinge won with the second Nudo Egipico to win the cup. Fundamentally a good match but nothing too exciting. ***¼

Atlantis, Blue Panther, Octagon def. Fuerza Guerrera, Satanico, Virus

Unlike the first two matches, this was a traditional three-falls match. Mije accompanied the rudos. Blue Panther and Virus did most of the leg work early on for their respective teams as they are the two who can still go at a decent level. The rudos won the first fall after Fuerza fouled Octagon for a pin and Satanico got the submission. The rudos continued to cheat until Panther and Octagon locked in some cradles to win the very quick second fall. The third fall was the best fall. The tecnicos took control early on and Blue Panther really shone by hitting a running plancha off the entrance ramp onto Virus that let his other team members lock in cradles for the win. This was fun while it lasted but nothing spectacular. **½

Lince Dorado & Samuray del Sol def. Soberano Jr. & Titan

Billed as Mexico vs. USA but can be considered WWE vs. CMLL. The CMLL guys looked incredible and Lince and Samuray (to an extent) kept up with their pace. The first fall happened rather quickly with a Titan springboard double stomp and a Soberano springboard moonsault for three counts. Things got a little ugly after that when Samuray immediately tried to hit a springboard dive off Lince’s shoulders but slipped on the ropes. Lince got things back on track with a tope and then the Americans won the second fall shortly thereafter. Things really picked up from there with some fun nearfalls including one after a boosted Canadian Destroyer from Samuray on Soberano. Something felt off with SdS as the match went on and it hurt the match flow a little bit. Team USA hit brainbusters followed by a 450 Splash and a Shooting Star Press for the shocking win. Soberano and Titan worked fantastically with each other. It’s a shame this was a little disjointed at times as it was close to getting to the next level. ****

Atlantis Jr., Mascara Dorada, Mistico def. Kevin Knight, Rocky Romero, TJP

Billed as CMLL vs. NJPW but felt more Mexico vs. USA than the last match as the invaders came to the ring looking like outlaws draped in the American flag smoking cigars. It was a cool look. Zacarias accompanied the rudos. Mistico looked like a god among men coming out with the wings and the spotlight right on him. Kevin Knight had one hell of a CMLL debut and was very impressive in this match. The crowd was red hot for every single interaction between Romero and Mistico and for good reason – They have incredible chemistry when facing each other. Romero took Mistico out on the outside to allow TJP and Knight to win the first fall over Dorada and Atlantis Jr.

The tecnicos started their comeback with Dorada and Mistico working together to hit some impressive planchas to the outside, leading to Atlantis’ running plancha from the ramp to get the second fall over Rocky. Mistico controlled most of the third fall and had a long one-on-one period with Rocky that the crowd absolutely adored. Atlantis tagged in to start bringing this match home as he took on all three rudos on his own for a bit by hitting them with spinning backbreakers. That led to a series of dives from the tecnicos who then put things away with their finish for the triple and final fall. This was very good but felt like it was building to more as evident in the post-match where Rocky took Mistico’s mask and then the other New Japan guys took the other masks. I would’ve liked to see more Mascara Dorada in this match but he has many more Aniversario shows in his future. ***¾

Winners Advance Tag Team Match
Angel de Oro & Volador Jr. def. Averno & Ultimo Guerrero

The winners advance to an immediate hair vs. hair apuestas match. The rivals would have to work together if they wanted a shot at humiliating their nemesis. Volador and Angel looked great flying around everywhere with Averno and Ultimo holding their own. Averno hit a middle rope Devil’s Wings which should have put it away but Angel broke up the pin. Ultimo dropkicked Averno by mistake and that was the beginning of the end for that team. Averno came back and dropped Ultimo with a clothesline that led to Angel de Oro and Volador Jr. getting the win to advance. This was a better than expected setup for the next match. ***

Hair vs. Hair Match
Volador Jr. def. Angel de Oro

Niebla Roja seconded his brother Angel. Magia Blanca seconded Volador. This started hot right off the bat and Volador immediately destroyed his shoulder taking a few swings into the barricade. It’s one of those things in wrestling that just happens when you least expect it on pretty standard moves. Volador refused the doctor’s help and worked the match in visible pain with one functioning arm. The medical staff tried to tape the shoulder but it didn’t really do much. Volador didn’t let the injury hold him back when hitting a one-armed tope con giro. Angel de Oro’s triangle moonsault is a thing of beauty. Somehow Volador hit an Asai moonsault with just the one arm. Incredible! Angel de Oro then hit a huge headscissors off the top rope on Volador who was placed on the middle ropes and Volador somehow kicked out. Volador took the casadora, clearly hurting his shoulder some more, and then reversed it to lock in his own but he had to let go because of the pain. Both made it to their feet and Volador pushed off the middle rope to hit a Canadian Destroyer for the win. This was a great match on its own but the shoot injury aspect turns it into an excellent display of the human’s will to win. Volador Jr. called off the doctor’s orders, fought through the pain, and managed to fully humiliate his rival by winning his hair. There is nothing better in wrestling than an emotional apuestas match. Incredible job by both guys and such a heroic effort by Volador. ****¾

Mask vs. Mask Match
Templario def. Dragon Rojo Jr.

Chamuel seconded Templario. Nitro seconded Dragon Rojo Jr. Rojo jumped Templario during his entrance and things got heated quickly when he kicked Chamuel down. Rojo had Templario’s number early on and cut him off every time he tried to mount a comeback. Dragon Rojo Jr. hit Templario with everything in his arsenal but it was never enough. Templario fought back with a Sasuke Special and a tope con giro from the ramp to the floor. This was followed by an impressive Sasuke Special splash from the ramp into the ring. The intensity was upped a short while later after Templario kicked out of a Dragon Rojo Frankensteiner off the top rope. Rojo took his eye off the prize for a second by kicking Chamuel off the apron and paid for it as Templario rushed him and hit him with a gut-wrench powerbomb off the middle rope. This led to the final package piledriver and Templario got the winning fall to win his rival’s mask. While not as good as the previous apuestas match, this was still a good main event that worked to both men’s strengths and hid their weaknesses. ****

Dragon Rojo Jr. is Anselmo Rivas Castro. He is 42 years old from Gomez Palacio and has been a wrestler for 22 years.

Final Thoughts

A tremendous show that will most likely be the lucha show of the year. A hot crowd mixed with great wrestling made this show a breeze to watch through. CMLL continues their hot streak of incredible shows this year. Whoever is booking the company should win the WON Booker of the Year award. Great stuff!

Powered by RedCircle