Welcome to this new series here on Voices of Wrestling, where we go through the best of the best of CMLL’s Viernes Espectacular (Spectacular Friday as they are listed on the CMLL website) shows (and occasionally add some recommendations of other must-see non-Friday matches that happened during the month). Considered the flagship weekly show of CMLL’s hectic schedule, the Spectacular Friday shows often feature the most important matches in the build-up to CMLL’s other big shows (like the Aniversario and Noche de Campeones shows). While they usually occur on Fridays, the big-name shows will be reviewed on the website shortly after the show airs.

October is in the rearview mirror, and CMLL had another fantastic month of wrestling despite some questionable booking decisions regarding outsiders coming in for the women’s International Grand Prix tournament. As it’s October, CMLL featured women a lot more than in recent months, and the Universal de Amazonas Championship tournament was one of the main attractions throughout the month.

Must See Matches of the Month

  • Mistico vs. Templario (10/13/2023) – ****1/2
  • Mexican National Tag Team Championship: Magnus & Rugido © vs. Neon & Futuro (10/13/2023) – ****¼
  • Mistico, Mascara Dorada, Atlantis Jr. vs. Templario, Angel de Oro, Niebla Roga (10/27/2023) – ****

Other Non-Friday Matches To Watch

  • Lightning Match: Mascara Dorada vs. Ultimo Guerrero (10/10) – A fun lightning match where Ultimo Guerrero played a great foil for Dorada. ***¼ 
  • Barbaro Cavernario vs. Star Jr. (10/17) – Cavernario was great and Star Jr. looked really impressive. ***¼ 
  • Mistico vs. Rocky Romero (AEW, 10/20) – A tremendous showcase for CMLL on American TV. ****
  • Cibernetico: Pierrothito vs. Ultimo Dragoncito vs. Shockercito vs. Angelito vs. Pequeno Olimpico vs. Mercurio vs. Kaligua vs. Pequeno Polvora vs. Pequeno Magia vs. Minos vs. Fantasy vs. Full Metal vs. Acero vs. Galaxy vs. Aereo vs. Pequeno Violencia (10/24) – A good minis Cibernetico match that had a great flow to it. ***½ 

CMLL Viernes Espectacular (October 2023)

OCTOBER 6, 2023

Capitain Suicida & El Audaz def. Difunto & Grako

A fun opener where Difunto looked great as the rudo opposite Suicida and Audaz. There was a great spot where Grako saved his partner from a tope that looked cool. Suicida and Audaz are a fun team. Duel hurricanrana spots from the top rope led to the tecnicos win. ***¼ 

Futuro, Neon, Hombre Bala Jr. def. Magia Blanca, Magnus, Rugido

Mije accompanied Los Depredadores. Futuro and Neon have been great additions to the regular roster after the Lightweight tournament earlier in the year. Neon, especially, is a human highlight reel with his jumping abilities. The tecnicos took the first fall when Bala got the fall over Magia and reverse that for the second fall. Futuro and Neon pinned Magnus and Rugido to win the third and final fall in a bit of a shock. Neon’s running leap to the top rope to hit a moonsault is amazing. Decent trios match that felt like it went a little long but a good setup for what came the next week. ***

Lightning Match
Efinge def. Misterioso Jr.

Esfinge looked good. Misterioso looked rough. It wasn’t painfully long. **

Universal de Amazonas Championship tournament Semi-Final, Cibernetico
La Catalina def. La Jarochita, Reyna Isis, Stephanie Vaquer, Persephone, Lady Shadow, Miss Guerrera, Metalica, La Vaquerita, La Guerrera, Valkiria, Olympia

Fresh off what I thought was a good title match against Stephanie Vaquer at the Night of Champions show, La Catalina outlasted some of the favourites to advance to the Universal de Amazonas tournament finals. The battle royal at the start of the match to set the teams was ROUGH. The match picked up during the tag part when the more experienced wrestlers entered and had their chance to shine. Reyna Isis and Stephanie Vaquer had a fun back-and-forth sequence. Nothing really to see here otherwise. The ending where La Jarochita dominated Catalina for a decent amount of time before losing was decent. **

Angel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Templario def. Mascara Dorada, Mistico, Titan

Dorada, Mistico, and Titan is a tecnico all-star team. While not amazing, this was still a very good match that really put over all six guys. Mascara Dorada continues to impress with his tremendous aerial ability. The build for Templario versus Mistico was a lot of fun. Templario and the Chavez brothers looked great working together. Chavez brothers pinned Dorada and Titan for the first fall. The tecnicos fought back afterwards but Templario fouled Mistico to get the second straight fall. While it may not have lived up to expectations of what these guys can do in an all-out main event, this accomplished what it needed to accomplish. ***½

CMLL Viernes Espectacular (October 2023)

OCTOBER 13, 2023

Pequeno Olimpico, Pequeno Violencia, Pierrothito def. Angelito, Kaligua, Pequeno Magia

The minis had a fun opener. It was nothing too spectacular but the rudos control work was entertaining. Kaligua looked impressive on the tecnicos side and did an Asai Moonsault to nothing outside the ring. Rudos got the submission win. **½ 

Akuma, Dark Magic, Espanto Jr. def. Hijo del Villano III, Villano III Jr., Zandokan Jr.

Rudos versus rudos. Mije accompanied La Ola Negra. El Triangulo – Zandokan Jr. and the Villanos kids – has quickly become one of the most entertaining trios to watch on these CMLL undercards. There was an intensity – it felt very much like a Letterkenny donnybrook – in this match that sometimes is missing in these types of matches. All six guys were belting each other and it made for a fun brawl. Akuma beat Hijo del Villano and Espanto beat Zandokan for the first fall. El Triangulo hit a top-rope powerbomb on Akuma for the second fall. Akuma’s apron dropkick is a thing of beauty. Dark Magic hit an elbow drop on Villano III Jr. for the win. Good stuff! ***½ 

Mexican National Tag Team Championship
Magnus & Rugido © def. Futuro & Neon

This exceeded all expectations! Futuro and Neon made the challenge for a title match after their win last week but failed to capture the titles in this tag match. Everything they did looked clean and they overachieved for their respective positions on the roster. It only went thirteen minutes but they maximized their time to create something special. Neon and Futuro were flying all over the place and Neon hit some absolutely insane moves. It’s hard to believe these two youngsters are human. Magnus and Rugido played their roles perfectly as the rudos trying to ground the high flyers. Rugido’s suplexes were top notch and Magnus held his own in the ring. Magnus hit the knees in the corner and Rugido hit a German suplex to put away the challengers. This is must must-watch. Hopefully, we get a rematch down the line with some extra time for some more insane spots. ****¼ 

Universal de Amazonas Championship tournament Semi-Final, Cibernetico
Zeuxis def. Lluvia, Dark Silueta, Amapola, Tiffany, Sanely, Skadi, Hera, Nautica, Maligna, Sexy Sol, Andromeda

This was better than the other semi-final Cibernetico but was still very rough. Same thing as the week before where the more experienced wrestlers shone while the less experienced wrestlers caused the match to drag. Andromeda stood out as particularly good compared to the others. Some fun Skadi and Sexy Sol spots if you’re into bad hoss matches. The Zeuxis and Lluvia final was a good finish and put this above the other semi-final match. **1/4

Mistico def. Templario

Mistico is the greatest pure babyface in all of wrestling and should be a lock for the Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Thesz/Flair Award. He is Mr. CMLL through and through. Templario was great hitting Mistico with big move after big move and it felt refreshing despite that style being overplayed in various other promotions around the world. Maybe it’s the Mistico effect where he plays such a great babyface that you love to watch him get destroyed in the ring but eventually fight back. Mistico took the first fall so Templario had to up his game if he wanted to prove himself as the “new icon of CMLL”. He hit Mistico with a sitout powerbomb to get the second fall and the heat was incredible. Despite throwing everything at Mistico, Templario was trapped in La Escalara and lost the match. A tremendous match where Templario looked great in defeat and Mistico shone like the star he is. ****1/2

CMLL Viernes Espectacular (October 2023)

OCTOBER 20, 2023

Brillante Jr. & Halcon Suriano Jr. def. Misterio Blanco & Misterio Negro

This could’ve been a lot better and it went about five minutes too long. Completely overstayed its welcome. There were a few fun spots but nothing flowed between them. **

Dulce Gardenia, Magia Blanca, Panterita del Ring def. Espanto Jr., Luciferno, Misterioso Jr.

Same thing as the match before where there were a few fun spots but everything between was a bit slow and didn’t work. Panterita and Misterioso starting the match trading holds was certainly a choice. Magia Blanca looked great. **¼ 

Johnnie Robbie, Mei Sugura, Sumie Sakai def. Dark Silueta, Reyna Isis, Stephanie Vaquer

Another match that was just kinda there. This was a bit of a preview of the Women’s Grand Prix the next week but Vaquer is representing CMLL this week. It served as a good introduction to Johnnie Robbie in her CMLL debut. The finish was weird where Sakai dropped Vaquer right on her face, got the three count, and Stephanie kicked out at 3.1. **¾ 

Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr., Dark Panther, Hijo de Blue Panther def. Gran Guerrero, Hijo de Stuka Jr., Stuka Jr., Ultimo Guerrero

They aired a nice Blue Panther career retrospective video before his entrance and presented him with a plaque. Very classy. Very happy to see “30th Best Wrestler in the World” Gran Guerrero in this spot. Rudos took the first fall, tecnicos took the second. The last fall was a lot of fun leading to triple Nudo Laguneros for the win. The vibes were immaculate even if the work wasn’t the best. ***

Universal de Amazonas Championship
La Catalina def. Zeuxis

Zeuxis beat the ever-living shit out of La Catalina! Her stiffness was tremendous and helped propel this match up a level. Catalina’s work looked very light compared to Zeuxis’ stuff but her ability to sell helped her show an underdog side. I can’t get over how great Zeuxis’ dropkick to the mush looked. Refusing to give up, Catalina kept on taking her licks and came back to win with a fairly weak splash. Zeuxis was great. ***¼  

CMLL World Tag Team Championship
Angel de Oro & Niebla Roja © def. Euforia & Soberano Jr.

This was rocking until Soberano’s unfortunate injury that killed all momentum they had. The Chavez brothers, the reigning champions, are great together and looked excellent. Soberano and Euforia were good challengers and their combination of power/athletic moves led to some exciting spots. The Soberano leg injury, however, brought the match to a screeching halt. They tried their best to salvage the match while Soberano was carried off on a stretcher. Niebla Roja hit a facebuster on Euforia from the top rope for the win. It’s a shame Soberano got hurt when he did as I thought this was really good up to that point. ***½ 

CMLL Viernes Espectacular (October 2023)​​

OCTOBER 27, 2023

Diamond & Valiante Jr. def. Dr. Karonte I & Dr. Karonte II

This sure was a match. Diamond looked good at points when the Karontes weren’t dumping him on his head. **

Futuro, Neon, Pelon Encapuchado def. El Coyote, Inquisidor, Polvora

Pelon Encapuchado is Fuego working a sponsorship gimmick for Hershey’s. Tecnicos took the first fall, rudos took the second. Futuro and Neon hit spectacular dives at the end to let Pelon roll El Coyote up for the win. Futuro and Neon continue to be a highlight on the undercards of the shows they are on. ***

Lightning Match
Averno def. Virus

A well worked lightning match as expected between these two. This had a frantic pace because of the ten-minute time limit and they maximized their minutes. Averno won with the Cross Armbreaker at just under the nine-minute mark. A very good undercard match. ***½ 

Atlantis Jr., Mascara Dorada, Mistico def. Angel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Templario

Mistico was wearing his AEW mask. Like the match a few weeks before this one, Templario and the Chavez brothers were excellent as the rudos against the super exciting team of Mistico, Atlantis Jr., and Dorada. Dorada and Atlantis have quickly become some of the top tecnicos on the roster and pairing them with Mistico is a treat. Templario got the first fall over Mistico fairly quickly with a sitout powerbomb. Mascara Dorada is simply unbelievable and uses the ring in so many creative ways that it’s always a treat to watch. Dorada and Atlantis got the second fall over Oro and Roja. The last fall brought the match up to the next level. The Mistico and Templario spots were fantastic and I am really enjoying this feud between them. Mistico beat Templario with La Mistica for the win. This rocked and all six guys brought it! ****

Grand Prix de Amazonas 2023
Team Rest of the World (Johnnie Robbie, La Catalina, Makoto, Mei Suruga, Stephanie Vaquer, Sumie Sakai, Tessa Blanchard, Zeuxis) def. Team Mexico (Amapola, Andromeda, Dark Silueta, Hera, La Jarochita, Lluvia, Reyna Isis, Skadi)

This was the best women’s Cibernetico of the month but still nothing to go out of your way to watch. A few questionable decisions like Zeuxis being eliminated early when she was one of the better workers in the match. Andromeda got caught up in the ropes on a tope and the landing looked nasty. Glad she’s okay! The eliminations weren’t anything special and pretty formulaic. The final four came down to Stephanie Vaquer and Tessa Blanchard from Team Rest of the World and La Jarochita and Lluvia on Team Mexico. Blanchard and Vaquer quickly dispatched the rest of Team Mexico to win the match for their team. This led to a quick Vaquer/Blanchard match where they traded near falls. It was alright but felt like it went too long after the rest of the Grand Prix. ***¼