Joe Dinan keeps you up-to-date on the world of Lucha Libre in this week’s Lucha Libre News & Analysis!
Just a correction from last week. I said LA Park was going to be at Dos Leyenda, that was clearly false as he worked an indie show that date. I got confused with him showing up at Puebla on Monday where they did a smaller version of Dos Leyenda and honored two other legends. Just as they like to put on a variant of the Day of the Dead show for each
The story for this show which was very close to a sell out, which surprised some experts. Niebla Roja and Angel de Oro defeated Terrible and bestia in a hair vs hair match. It went two out of three falls as you’d suspect. During the last fall where it came down to Angel and Terrible, Terrible legitimately hurt his shoulder and dislocated it. Terrible went through anyway to the finish which was soon after. The crowd was into it towards the end. Los Guerrero’s retained their tag team titles by defeating Caristico, Volador, and Dragon Lee. Negro Casas made his in ring return also on this show. It had a lot of star power on the show but it just felt like a spiced up normal Friday show. In Mexico CMLL lost big to AAA in the Television ratings. Not sure how much that matters in Mexico.
Arena Puebla/Arena Mexico Tuesday
Well naturally the big news on this show was the return of LA Park. I do not believe he’s been around since a little after the Day of the Dead show. I know his son showed up once a few weeks ago, however. So Park teamed up with Volador and Hijo Del LA Park vs Los Guerrero’s. It was branded as Family vs Family and they were given a lot of time. Park looked super impressive for a man of his age or just in general. If you hadn’t heard in the Observer Awards he won 4th place in the best wrestler in the world, coming behind Tanahashi, Okada, and Kenny Omega. Maybe some match making for AEW. So Park fooled the ref by taking his own mask off and throws it to Ultimo Guerrero to trick him for the DQ. This worked because a few moments ago the ref got distracted and Gran Guerrero and Euforia punted Hijo and Volador in the groin to try to get the win. They’re going to run the match back next week. On the Tuesday show, Dragon Lee faced off against Mephisto for the welterweight championship and after a 1000 day plus reign Mephisto lost his title to Dragon Lee. I don’t know what it means because titles mean less in Mexico than anywhere else, proven by the fact that Fenix is never gonna defend his Mega Championship in AAA.
There will be a Parejas Increibles tournament in April and Angel de Oro and Niebla Roja are the first team announced for that. The main event of this Friday show is Caristico, Volador, and Diamante Azul facing Los Guerrero’s. Angel de Oro and Niebla Roja will square off with Terrible and Bestia again in a post hair match show down but Titan with be added to the former and Mr. Niebla to the latter. There is a lightning match with Cavernario and Forastero so that should be good.
As we all know by now the big news coming out of Rey de Reyes that made it to America is the Young Bucks winning the AAA tag team championships. So here’s how it all went down. Cody showed up early in the show to announce the working relationship with AEW and AAA. Then Konnan came out and said anything you do here has to go past him. It almost felt like they were positioning AEW as the babyfaces and AAA as the heels in their own promotion. Maybe it’ll just be Cody being babyface because towards the end of the show, the Lucha Bros beat Texano and Rey Escorpion and afterwards Konnan came out jawing with them. The lights went out and the Young Bucks were in the ring to almost no reaction. It seemed like Konnan was in the Bucks corner. So I don’t know what they’re trying. So the Bucks beat a tired Lucha Bros. The crowd didn’t react for a few reasons. It was a long show, the Bucks weren’t announced, and the fact is the Bucks do not have that level of popularity in Mexico. If AAA would have promoted them somehow as the best tag team in the world it might be different. But it also might have hurt the surprise. It all depends on the follow up. I presume they’ll face each other at Double or Nothing for the AAA world tag team titles.
The rest of the show went like this, Aerostar won the Rey de Reyes tournament. The team of Psycho Clown, Maximo, and Mamba defeated Jeff Jarrett, Killer Kross, and La Mascara in a cage match with Super Porky at ringside. Averno, Chessman, and Super Fly defeated Pagano, Drago, and Puma King in a spotty hardcore match. Super Fly got power bombed by Puma King and smashed his head on the side of the table. He had to be taken out but he ended up being okay. The match before saw Poder de Norte taking on Perros del Mal, Taya, Joe Lider, and Daga. Daga turned on them in this match leading to the victory of Poder de Norte. There was a growing alliance with Taya and Faby on this show. They both ran in to protect each other during a beat down. Which leads to the Reina de Reinas match where Shani retained over Keyra, Hiedra, and Chica Tormenta. At the end of the match Faby confronted the heel ref but then got beat on by Chica and Keyra. Taya made the save. After Daga turned on Perros del Mal, Taya was getting beat on and Faby made the save. So I smell some kind of tag match in the future. And finally, Big Mami and Nino Hamburguesa retained the Mixed tag team titles over Villano III Jr and Lady Maravilla. The story here was Nino didn’t want Big Mami to keep hurting Maravilla and at the end of the match he carried her out.
AAA has put out the billboard for I think their next show on April 5th and the top of the card looks like this, Psycho Clown and Dr. Wagner Jr vs Blue Demon and Rey Escorpion. Pagano and Joe Lider vs Texano and La Mascara. Maximo, Mamba, and Pimpinela Escarlata vs Poder de Norte. Lady Shani, La Hiedra, and Nino Hamburguesa vs Lady Maravilla, Keyra, and Villano III Jr. We also have a 5 way match for the Latin American championship seeing Drago face Hijo Del Vikingo, Myzteziz Jr, Aerostar, and Argenis. Drago is the champ going in.
Here & There
Garza Jr has signed with WWE and he will start NXT in April. Of course there has been word he was going to WWE for a while now but there was something that wasn’t disclosed that prevented it. But now that he’ll be going there I imagine he’ll work NXT and 205 Live just like Ultimo Ninja is doing. I suspect Garza might keep his name because of the connection they can make with Hector Garza. Though that might be giving WWE too much credit.
So in addition to knowing that Bandido will face Dragon Lee and Ishimori for the Jr Heavyweight Championship at MSG, we also know that Rush is going to face Dalton Castle at MSG. Rush defeated Bandido at the Ring of Honor anniversary PPV, but what I’ve heard Rush took most of the match and won.
I believe this Saturday on MLW TV it will be LA Park vs Mance Warner. Park and his son will also be in the Battle Riot amount others. It’s going to be a busy WrestleMania weekend, Bandido faces Will Ospreay at Wrestle Con on Thursday. I’ll likely go to that. For me there will be an extra show since I’ll need to fit AAA in, but on Friday I’m going to Stardom and then MLW Battle Riot, and of course I’ll be at the New Japan G1 Super Show on Saturday. I will not be at NXT or WrestleMania. NXT’s secondary market is very high and WrestleMania looks to be a very average show and since it’s at Giants Stadium, it’s overly expensive.
Tiffany’s Takes: WWE Monday Night RAW (4/22/2019)
Tiffany offers her real-time takes on WWE Raw, including AJ emerging as #1 contender and Bray Wyatt…emerging…
Tiffany takes a look back at WWE Raw in the first (official) edition of Tiffany’s takes!
At Greg DeMarco’s suggestion, we’re trying something new, so let’s see how it goes starting with Monday’s edition of WWE Raw!
WWE Universal Championship
The Seth Rollins Era of RAW kicked off with two HUGE triple threats to determine just who would be the first challenger for Seth Rollins’ Universal title. I LOVED the interaction between Triple H and Rollins, it felt KIND of like the old Authority, but they were on more equal terms. Everyone coming out to run their mouths was funny considering that, except for Styles, Rollins had faced and beat all of them either one on one or as part of the Shield.
The first Triple Threat was AMAZING and could’ve easily been the main event. Styles vs Mysterio lived up to the Dream Match hype, so poor Joe felt like a third wheel, and the final sequence was amazing.
After that, the second triple threat was pretty much a ‘meh’ for me. Corbin stealing the win from McIntyre wasn’t surprising and would probably lead to a feud if one of them was a face. Other than that, it was just blah.
I’m honestly surprised that Styles won tonight. Styles vs Rollins is a Big Four level match and I don’t see why it’s being put on a B-PPV, especially Money in the Bank, but we’ll see but it should be a great match.
Naomi vs Billie Kay
I’m not sure what to make of this match. The IIconics running their mouths took longer than the actual match. That said, I’m glad that the Women’s Tag Titles aren’t exclusive to SmackDown after all, but since Naomi doesn’t have a partner, I don’t see what the point was.
Elisa looks great in her Chairshot gear.
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Bray Wyatt’s Promos
Well, we’ve finally gotten an answer to who was behind the creepy puppet promos and it was resident creep Bray Wyatt. This was just super fucking creepy and the fact that they were spoofing PBS children’s programming was just…ugh. This is another ‘wait and see’ but honestly, I’d burn the tape and forget that promo ever happened.
With Owens being a babyface now, apparently Zayn feels he needs to be an extra obnoxious heel and nothing is more obnoxious than forcing people to sit through your vacation photos. That said, this new gimmick seems to be a clapback about all the ‘Unhappy Wrestler’ reports that the dirt sheets are so fond of reporting. The most intriguing part of the segment was the staredown between Cedric Alexander and Zayn because that’s a match I’d love to see.
Cedric Alexander vs Cesaro
Well, either the Bar is no more or Sheamus will be joining Cesaro on RAW as soon as he’s back from injury. Either way, we got a FANTASTIC match between Cesaro and Cedric Alexander. I’m very disappointed that Alexander lost, but he definitely showed that he can hang with the vets.
The Usos and The Revival
Jimmy and Jey didn’t have a match this week, but we got another tease of a feud with the Revival along with a bangingly funny promo that managed to be a little self-deprecating, but still fun.
Viking Raiders vs Lucha House Party
What’s Viking for ‘squash’? Seriously, that was a brutal as hell non-match (bell never rang). Sadly, the crowd was either worn out from all the good matches thus far, or they had no idea what to make of the Viking Raiders, which is a more interesting name than ‘Viking Experience’.
Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins
Talk about success going to your head! Ryder and Hawkins have only won two matches as a re-formed team, but the way they talk, you’d think they’ve been hugely successful and relevant for the ten years they’ve been in WWE, or Ryder has, anyway. I honestly want Viking Experience to squash the hell out of them because they are annoying me.
Becky Lynch vs Alicia Fox
So the Becky Lynch vs Lacey Evans feud has barely started and I’m already over it. I don’t like Lacey Evans and don’t like what she claims to represent. I’m also confused as to why Alicia Fox, who supposedly went AWOL after showing up to a house show drunk in an incident that cost Arn Anderson his job, was give a match against the RAW Women’s Champion on her first night back. I’m glad that Becky won, but WWE is risking making her look bad by letting Evans get the jump on her with that horrible finisher of hers. Hopefully, this will end at Money in the Bank.
Robert Roode vs Ricochet
With Aleister Black sadly gone to Smackdown, Ricochet was left on his own on RAW against Robert Roode and his porn-stache. The match was really good, and I’m glad to see Roode regain his edge, but I just couldn’t get into it and I’m mad Ricochet lost, but I don’t think it’ll hurt him long term, but we’ll have to see.
The Rollins Era kicked off with a bang and did a pretty good job of delivering on the potential of the Shakeup with the two Triple Threats. I’m not really sure giving us Styles vs Rollins so soon is a great idea, but it’ll definitely be a huge match.
I think Rollins will be fine as THE Man on RAW, even without the Shield, he’s come a long way from where he was in 2015 and it shows in his confidence in speaking to Triple H. Gone is the whiny, over-confident, eager-to-please, Seth Rollins of 2015. 2019 Seth has hit rock bottom and found his way back to the top with the help and support of the fans and his Shield brothers and became a better person for it. He doesn’t NEED Triple H’s approval anymore and that made their interaction much more interesting.
Click in tomorrow for SmackDown coverage and Use your head!
WWE Week in Review April 15-April 21, 2019, Non-Shake Up Edition
Aside from all the Superstar Shakeup action, what happened on the non-main roster WWE shows? Tiffany breaks it down!
Aside from all the Superstar Shakeup action, what happened on the non-main roster WWE shows? Tiffany breaks it down!
Gran Metalik vs Ariya Daivari vs Mike Kanellis vs Akira Tozawa: I have no idea why this match happened since it wasn’t an official #1 Contender’s match, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great match and Daivari winning it was a HUGE surprise to me, and I can’t wait to see if he can back up his mouth.
The fact that Mike Kanellis had the match won and it was stolen by Daivari revives my hope that Mike Kanellis will be turning babyface, especially since Cedric Alexander has been drafted to RAW. I think Kanellis has what it takes to be a great underdog babyface, he just needs the right opportunity to do it and 205 being without its other TOP babyface is the perfect opening.
Oney Lorcan vs Cedric Alexander: One thing I hated about this match is that the feud leading up to it wasn’t given more time. This could’ve been a blockbuster non-title feud if WWE had left Cedric on 205 Live, where he belongs.
All that said, it was a fantastic match and it gave Cedric the send off from the fans that he deserved, I just wish it hadn’t happened because I think the cruiserweight guys are going to get lost on RAW and SmackDown, which is what 205 was supposed to keep from happening.
Gallus vs Humberto Carrillo and Raul Mendoza: This week’s shows were done at WrestleMania AXXESS, which is why 205 Live’s own Humberto Carrillo got to team up with his sometime partner, Raul Mendoza, to take on Gallus in a fantastic match that actually went better than expected, in my opinion. Matches with wildly different styles can be a slow going trainwreck, but this was a wonderful match to watch and drives home that Gallus aren’t just big blowhards, they’re also great athletes. I was a little disappointed that Carrillo and Mendoza lost, but it’s clear that NXT UK has big plans for Gallus, which I’m thrilled to see unfold.
Kassius Ohno: As someone who HATES it when people mispronounce things, I applaud Ohno for his pronunciation correction. Other than that, I wasn’t impressed by the promo. Ohno’s playing the role of arrogant heel very well, especially discounting Ligero because someone who has a crazy schedule can’t possibly put on a quality match every night, is just silly for an indie guy to say. Guess we’ll see what the Leeds Luchador has to say.
Dunne vs Walter: I think I’ve been pretty clear about the fact that I’m a big Jordan Devlin fan, so I was thrilled with his promo on Dunne vs WALTER. I’m still hopeful that he’ll get another title shot, whoever has the title.
Dave Mastiff vs Kona Reeves: This was an odd one because Kona Reeves hasn’t exactly been a NXT mainstay since his debut and his job this week seemed to be becoming Dave Mastiff’s dinner. To give the Keanu Reeves wannabe his due, he did try to compete, but the Black Country Bomber was a little too big for him. Mastiff winning wasn’t a shock, but it needs to lead to something bigger sooner or later.
That said, I’m intrigued by the possible Mastiff/Wolfgang feud being teased. A brawl between two huge men, who can move like cruiserweights sounds like a lot of fun.
Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster: So, the challenge has been accepted and we’ll get The Flying Welshmen vs Moustache Mountain next week!
Rhea Ripley vs Kacy Cantanzaro: This should’ve been a great rematch from the Mae Young Classic, instead Kacy got squashed like a bug by Ripley, who seems to have a bigger chip on her shoulder than normal. At least Kacy has a…friend, of sorts, in Piper Niven, who scared Ripley off.
Grizzled Young Veterans vs Amir Jordan and Kenny Williams: Did that just happen?! Did I just watch Jordan and Williams, the most unlikely to succeed tag team get a win, even on a technicality, over the NXT UK Tag Champs? Did that just happen?! It did and it was FANTASTIC! I’ve become a big fan of Jordan and Williams, and while they didn’t get a pinfall victory over the champs, the fact that GYV took the loss rather than be pinned is enough for me! Go Lucky Bad Boys!
Velveteen Dream vs Buddy Murphy: I think I’ve said before that I’m not a Velveteen Dream fan, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s talented and he definitely showed it against Buddy Murphy. I was a little puzzled by Murphy going back to NXT and I still am, but it was a great match by both guys and that’s really all that matters.
Street Profits vs War Raiders (or whatever they’re called): This is another ‘What’s going on here’ moments because the Street Profits haven’t been on NXT all that much, but they’re getting a title shot next week. I guess the Undisputed Era is going to have to wait for another go.
Johnny Gargano vs Undisupted Era: At least Gargano got the hero’s welcome he deserved as NXT Champion. I do like Cole’s whining that Gargano got lucky, completely ignoring the fact that he and Gargano knew that they would have to beat the other man twice to win, it was funny, as was Gargano’s pointing out that Cole was being an idiot for the same reason. It’s nice to have a smart face that can rile up the heel once in a while.
I also liked that we got more signs of unrest in UE with Gargano and Regal stirring the pot. I’m stoked for Gargano vs Strong, especially to watch Cole seethe.
Dominik Dijakovic vs Aaron Frye: There’s not much to say about this since Dijakovic hit one move and it was done. The promo was much more interesting given that Dijakovic has Velveteen Dream in his sights.
Aliyah and Vanessa Borne: I love these two because they’re so obnoxious, but not in the annoying way the IIconics are and I loved their excuses for Aliyah’s loss last week. I can’t wait for next week’s tag team match since it seems like Candice LeRae seems to finally be being treated as more than Gargano’s perpetually worried wife.
Shayna Baszler vs Kairi Sane: This was such a good match and allows Sane to be written out of NXT to got to SmackDown, while maintaining Baszler as a heel. It also paves the way for Baszler vs Shirai by having Shirai by having Shirai save her friend, even if it meant Sane lost any more chances at the title. It was the perfect way to end the Baszler/Sane feud while creating a new feud, so no complaints.
Shield’s Last Ride
After six and a half years, two reunions, two betrayal, and twenty-three cumulative championship reigns, the Shield has come to the end of the road…at least for now. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns are heading to different shows, while Dean Ambrose has chosen to walk away from WWE and find a new path. In honor of the moment, WWE chose to air Ambrose’s last WWE match and let the WWE Universe say goodbye to one of the greatest factions in the history of Professional Wrestling.
Advanced Warning: If you haven’t figured out that I’m a huge Shield and Dean Ambrose fan, I’m not sure where you’ve been, but I will be a blubbering mess and this might not be very coherent, but I will not apologize for that.
Elias: Gotta love Elias’ never say die attitude towards performing. He managed to throw PLENTY of shade at the Shield and everyone else. Him being a primadonna to Balor about the interruption was fun and we found out Balor can wrestle in a leather jacket, but he still needs a more supportive jock strap. Balor getting the win wasn’t a surprise but it was a really great, if odd match due to some spots.
Riott Squad vs Bayley and Ember Moon: God, I’m going to miss the Riott Squad together! Why did WWE have to split them up?! Them ‘singing’ with Elias was hilarious! The match against Ember and Bayley was great, but I missed what Liv did to get expelled from the match, and costing her team the win. Still, great match and we get to see a great potential team in Bayley and Ember.
Shield Promo: For old time’s sake, we got a vintage Shield promo. It doesn’t matter what they said, because it was just nice to get that promo.
The Shield vs Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, and Baron Corbin: Well, it’s come down to this. After six and a half years, the Shield rode into battle together one more time.
To be honest, this match was too hard to watch. The Shield renewed my active interest in WWE, rather than just half-heartedly watching it when I remembered or not at all. Dean Ambrose has been my hero since I laid eyes on him because he wasn’t what I expected a WWE Superstar to look or sound like. I was intrigued and then I fell in love, in a platonic, non-creepy, sense, with him. My online friends will attest to my cheering, ranting, raving, and screaming for Dean when it looked like he was getting gypped by WWE. That renewed interest lead me to becoming a writer about wrestling, something I never thought anyone would ask me to do. The idea that the man that reactivated my interest and love in wrestling is leaving, even if it’s just for now, has been hard to take and accept.
That said, it was a great match, with everyone hitting their best moves. The fact that it was about the Shield as team, rather than Ambrose, which lead him to letting Seth get the pin and making the final speech about Roman, Seth, and the Shield, rather than himself, makes me respect Jonathan Good all that much more.
I wish Dean all the best, he’s come a long way from his days of nearly bleeding to death for $20 and it looks like he’ll have a great future ahead of himself, whatever happens, but I fervently hope that I will see him again in a WWE ring. Thanks for the memories, Dean, and ALWAYS believe in the Shield!
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