Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year In Review/Preview

10 Best Wrestlers of 2013:

1. Rush

The future of CMLL. Became a one man show in 2013 who could go into the ring with almost anyone and make it interesting all by himself. Feud with Negro Casas was must-watch TV and is clearly going to be the money match for CMLL in the coming year.

2. Negro Casas

The constant pro. Worked maestros matches giving us great 80's flashbacks, worked with young high flyers showing age doesn't matter & was willing to sacrifice his life to make Rush look like a killing machine. The ultimate compliment is finishing #2 to the guy who is the future of CMLL. Possibly the best wrestler in the world at this very moment.

3. Mascara Dorada

Rebounded after a very disapointing 2012 to make 2013 his best year yet. Never took a night off and had a few nights where he delivered possibly the best single performances of the year (3/29, 5/10 & 8/6 come to mind). Easily the most complete high flyer in the world.

4. Rey Escorpion

The only man who can even challenge Negro Casas when discussing the best rudos in Mexico. Carried the most lazy of opponents to the best matches possible, was a one man show in various trios matches to make limited tecnicos look like a million bucks and was involved in the best match of the year. Truly unbelievable to think only a couple years ago AAA decided they had no use for him and CMLL was putting him in opening matches with Molotov.

5. La Sombra

One could argue he certainly had the biggest/most important year for any wrestler in Mexico with his unmasking of Volador Jr. & winning the IWGP Intercontinental Title from Shinsuke Nakamura. His feud with Volador Jr. carried CMLL for much of the year when Atlantis/Ultimo Guerrero were on break & he was positioned as the top future tecnico in CMLL.

6. Titan

Started off the year rough as he had to deal with a pesky injury than took away all the mometum he had coming in from 2012. Thankfully he kicked it into gear in the second half of the year to re-establish himself as right there with Sombra & Mascara Dorada as the 3 tecnico building blocks CMLL needs to focus on. SHOCKINGLY well booked by CMLL tecnico standards and one still has to wonder if that is intentional or not. Any singles match of his post-June is well worth checking out.

7. Rey Cometa

Much like Rey Escorpion, Cometa is another example of a guy who AAA completely wasted & CMLL had stuck in generic trios matches until he got his big break at last year's Anniversary Show and carried the momentum into 2013. Feud with Okumura/Namajague was shockingly great and provided one of the best matches of the year at Dos Leyendas. Work ethic pretty much unmatched as he'd bring his A game to even pointless Sunday shows. Will hopefully return from injury in 2014 and get the chance to stick in semi-main events.

8. Jack Evans

An AAA wrestler! Can be classified exactly as Rey Cometa - a guy who always delivers no matter if it's a TV show or not or no matter who his opponents are. Would be higher if AAA had given him anything to do this year. His tag team with Angelico (later trio with Australian Suicide) consistently provided great matches throughout the year. One can only hope he will be more focused on in 2014 and perhaps get the big singles feud we are all waiting to see.

9. Volador Jr.

Rinse/repeat what was said about Sombra. Only thing knocking Volador down on the list is his post-unmasking run was very disappointing as he headlined some very weak Tuesday shows and is currently involved in a poorly done tecnico turn. But even that can't dismiss being involved in the best match of the year with Rey Escorpion and the feud with Volador Jr. that led to no less than 5 MOTYC's.

10. Pentagon Jr.

IF ONLY. The sky is the limit with this guy IF ONLY AAA would focus on him. Was probably due to do more this year if not for his rival Octagon Jr. leaving for WWE. Had limited appearences on TV but whenever he showed up he demonstrated he had main event talent and charisma. One of the best future prospects AAA has although one wonders if the promotion realizes it.

Just missed:

- Guerrero Maya Jr.: Consistent performer but stuck in too many meaningless trios matches.
- Virus: Same as above. Had a couple excellent singles matches though.
- Texano Jr.: Big matches just didn't deliver this year, mainly due to overbooking.
- Terrible: Underrated big man always bring his A game but focus wasn't on him this year.
- Steve Pain: Showed up out of nowhere and had a great 6 months. Sure to crack the list in 2014.

Top 10 Matches of 2013:

1. Volador Jr. vs Rey Escorpion (CMLL Light Heavyweight Title) - 1/29/13
2. Mascara Dorada vs Negro Casas (NWA Welterweight Title) - 6/2/13
3. Rey Cometa & Stuka Jr. vs Namajague & Okumura (Hair/Mask vs Mask/Hair) - 3/15/13
4. La Sombra vs Volador Jr. (Mask vs Mask) - 9/13/13
5. Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Virus (CMLL Super Lightweight Title) - 10/6/13
6. Titan vs Averno (Mexican National Welterweight Title) - 12/1/13
7. La Sombra vs Volador Jr. (IWGP Intercontinental Title) - 6/28/13
8. Shocker/Negro Casas/Terrible vs Rush/Maximo/Rey Escorpion - 6/28/13
9. Titan vs Polvora (Mexican National Welterweight Title) - 1/1/13
10. Rush vs Shinsuke Nakamura - 6/9/13

Note: Weird year as if I was making a list of personl 3 *FAVORITE* matches the top 3 would be Dorada/Casas & 2 matches that didn't even make the list - those being the trios titles match from the CMLL Anniversary Show & the 8/16 Aero Star/Angelico/Jack Evans vs Pentagon Jr./Machine Rocker/Soul Rocker match from Queretaro. Lots of matches left off this list such as AR Fox/Flamita, Ricky Marvin/Belial, Panther/Averno & Sombra/Nakamura just goes to show what a strong year it was for high end match quality.

Top 5 AAA Shows of 2013:

1. 11/3 Tonala

AAA needs to use this show as the blueprint for how they can be great. A big singles match with a talented foreigner, stable warfare, the debut of two new stables in excellent matches, Relevos AAA opener & the biggest shock of all - A FRESH MAIN EVENT INVOLVING NEW BLOOD!

2. 8/16 Queretaro

AAA shows are always extra great when you get to see the full package. This show had it. Mini's, a hardcore match & the best AAA match of the year. All that before even hitting the semi-main event.

3. 4/15 Leon

Much the same as above. Mini's, women, great high flying midcard match & the debut of a new trio that got over big and was then ignored the rest of the year. Perros/Secta was a sleeper great brawl.

4. 8/2 Mexico City

Best opening match of the year in Mexico set the tone for an excellent show that ended with the best angle of the year (even if the follow-up sucked). The Ciber/Perrito match was everything their Triplemania match wasn't. Show may have been even higher on the list if not for a very short and disappointing semi-main likely due to timing issues.

5. 7/7 Ecatepec

Action packed showed with the debut of a new stable, elevation of undercard acts & unforgettable midcard spotfest. A great sign of how fun a combo Galavision/Fusion TV taping could be.

Top 10 CMLL Shows of 2013:

1. 9/13 (Anniversary Show)

Not much else to say other than the best show of the year in Mexico. Nothing else was even remotely close.

2. 3/15 (Homenaje Dos Leyendas)

Strangely an amazingly put together show with... count 'em... *4* big matches! Match order was even jumbled the day of the show which turned out to be for the best and provided 4 distinct top matches including a main event that won't be soon forgotten. Two unaired undercard matches even popped up on youtube and were excellent. In any other year this is an easy best show of the year.

3. 6/28

CMLL finished off a strong month with a show that set the stage of what was to come later in the year. Great title match with Sombra/Volador, a Relevos Incriebles match that was really CMLL at it's finest if they had any focus in the programming department & the true start of the Panther/Averno feud. Relevos Incriebles match also had the Rush/Negro feud get thrust into the spotlight.

4. 4/26

Another shockingly well booked show. Wasn't even considered a major show by CMLL standards but had 3 big matches that all delivered. Gran Alternativa finals, Rey Cometa/Namajague hair match & Mistico II/Averno title match.

5. 8/16

Blue Panther tribute show complete with maestros match, the complete opposite in an Estetas Del Aire vs Hijos Del Averno match & another great Sombra/Volador Jr. singles match where the bomb was dropped as to the Anniversary main event.

6. 6/16

A Sunday show! A very good Sunday show! Finals of the tournament to crown new CMLL Trios champions & a semi-main event where Rush turned in an incredible performance. Women's Torneo Cibernetico wasn't half bad either.

7. 9/20

Post-Anniversary show was an excellent overall card with a fantastic midcard trios match involving Rey Cometa/Fantasma/Triton vs Ishii/Puma/Tiger. Excellent wrestling combined with setting the stage for the feuds to carry the last part of the year (Porky/Escorpion & Marcela/Dalys).

8. 6/9

A show with a tournament! Very generic description by CMLL standards but in this case it was an 8 team tournament to crown finalists for the CMLL Trios Titles that ended up being 6 very wild matches. Combine that with a MOTYC main event where Mexico hero for the night Rush absolutely obliterated hated foreigner Shinsuke Nakamura and this was a very enjoyable 2 and a half hours of free internet TV.

9. 2/22

A show kicking the year into high gear with all the Dos Leyendas feuds taking center stage. Two excellent mid-card matches & a shockingly good La Mascara/Averno lightning match.

10. 10/18

What should have been the last CMLL major show of the year ended up being just a regular show but still delivered. Porky/Escorpion was a wacky sight, Estetas Del Aire delivered as usual & Marcela/Dalys topped all expectations. If only the main event had actually been a tag title match instead of a screwjob who knows how high this show could have finished.

5 Things I Want in 2014:

1) No more Canadian Destroyers. Or any Canadian Destroyer variations. EVERY wrestler seems to use it & it seems to happen in EVERY match. It's a horrible move that isn't even used in the U.S./Canada any more so please please please... Mexican wrestlers... stop using it. It looks dumb. Also, piledrivers are illegal - remember?

2) The growth of promotions like Chilanga Mask & DTU. Companies that put on good creative lineups & listen to what their fans want should be rewarded with more fans coming to the shows so they can start running bigger buildings and making more money. Mexico needs more companies like these instead of EAW returning or TxT existing.

3) CMLL continuing to work with Terra to show events online. Don't get me wrong - I hope they get a real TV deal because they deseperately need one for the sake of the future of the company - but watching shows live is always better than even waiting a day or a week when you already know the results. Other companies should take advantage of new technology to try and do the same. Even setting up a camera and hitting record on a wide shot for a live IWRG show would be neat. AAA tried ustream and failed miserably but I'm hoping they even give something else a shot in 2014.

4) Instead of En Busca De Un Idolo I'd like to see a similar tournament to the G-1 Climax that New Japan does or Champion Carnival in All Japan. You can't just create a "new idol" every year. That defeats the purpose of someone being an "idol". Instead use the 2 months to have your best wrestlers in a big tournament... and perhaps because you are doing this tournament you can cut down on the number of other tournaments during the year. Pretty please? #nomoretournaments

5) AAA focusing more on individual/tag/trios rivalries rather than the generic umbrella of (randomly named faction of 10+ rudos) threatening to destroy their own company. AAA had a fantastic roster and an unlimited tap of great potential feuds. Psycho Circus vs Consejo, La Parka vs Parka Negra, anyone vs Jeff Jarrett & Mexican Powers vs Psicosis/random partner are COMPLETELY OVERDONE and well past stale. It's time to move on. Moving on does not mean Joe Lider turns on Crazzy Boy, La Parka tries to go rudo again and Psycho Circus vs Secta. Moving on means some Daga singles matches, the trios titles being moved into a position where the great trios teams can compete for them & Jack Evans/Angelico feuding with Texano/Hijo Del Fantasma either in tag matches or for singles titles. Like I said, the talent is all there... the creativity & dedication to changing things is not. 2014 is a new year - it's time for a (long overdue) change.

10 Legitimate Predicitions for 2014:

1) Mistico/Sin Cara shows up in AAA. All goes well until Triplemania before things fall off a cliff due to his ego combined with unprofessionalism from various AAA wrestlers who don't like him. By the end of the year he's working indies with LA Park & Dr. Wagner doing comedy hardcore matches ending in DQ.

2) Rush/Negro Casas have a hair match at Homenaje Dos Leyendas & Atlantis/Ultimo Guerrero finally have their mask match at the September Anniversary Show.

3) El Hijo Del Santo returns to the ring, finds a moneymark to sponsor one big show over the summer & on that show unmasks El Hijo Del Solitario.

4) The Volador Jr. as a tecnico experiment is done by the summer... if it takes even that long.

5) Titan wins his first mask in Arena Mexico... possibly Efesto, Reapper or Morphosis.

6) Kazuchika Okada makes his CMLL debut, has a quick feud with Rush. (Unfortunately likely beats him)

7) DTU has more of an influence on AAA undercards by providing new talent and thus the phasing out of a lot of AAA regulars who have no affiliation to Crazzy Boy.

8) More maestros matches on special CMLL shows including an apuesta match involving Black Terry.

9) Some sort of supershow at a decent sized arena promoted by Chilanga Mask involving a couple of US indy promotions.

10) Breakout years internationally for Mascara Dorada & Bestia 666.

(I'm not touching the AAA in US deal!)

~HAPPY 2014!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

20 Thoughts: Lucha TV Nov. 16 & 17/2013

1. Best match of the weekend was clearly the Rush/La Mascara vs Terrible/Tama Tonga tag title match. Rush is just a blast to watch when he's killing people. La Mascara is still throwing way too many superkicks but Tonga kept him in check here. Shit finish but at least Rush was hilarious in the post-match.

2. Another completely dreadful C3 episode. Not a single even average match.

3. So the CMLL mini's aren't allowed to do dives but the women are? And the women allowed are Goya Kong & Estrellita? Am I watching WWE?

4. Mini's on C3 completely embarassed themselves. Blown spots, guys completely gassed, guys not even trying at half speed... just a sad state for the division right. Best example of how far they've fallen: Mini Fantasy used to do a run-up-the-ropes moonsault finish. Now he struggles to just step on the 2nd rope and do the moonsault.

5. Atomic Star & Electro Boy are GREAT at the dumping your opponents on their head thing. Now if only they could master at least ONE of the following: actual wrestling, making your oppnents moves look good, remembering spots, selling & acknowleding a crowd is watching the match.

6. Really evident how much better trained the IWRG guys are. Fulgor II doesn't make TV a lot but he did this week and between knowing exactly where to be for the next move and being able to carry weaker opponents he is clearly a competent wrestler. In comparison to Eterno's guys & Tony Rivera's guys (aside from Guerrero Mixtico) who look completely lost all the time and are only interested in doing their big moves/dives.

7. Guerrero Mixtico is better than people seem to be giving him credit for. Tons of charisma and does spots you would think a guy with that gut wouldn't be able to do. Hope he sticks around in IWRG even after Tony Rivera loses his hair.

8. Remember when La Sombra/Euforia in the same match meant at least some good creative exchanges? I guess Sombra has already checked out for Japan.

9. Mask or no mask Alan Xtreme is still amazing.

10. Still waiting to see the full version of the AAA matches so skipped Mesias/Styles for now. The trios to opener the show was good. Not really good but good enough. I think I'll like it better unedited. Some of the camerashot choices were beyond annoying though. Why was Jack's insane tornillo barely shown? Why did they go to an extreme wideshot when Australian Suicide went for his corkscrew 630 splash? Juvy's group looked very promising though. Hopefully they get to spread their wings so to speak and work with teams like the new Cadets & possibly other rudos instead of wasting their time with the Mexican Powers.

11. The Lucha Azteca show looks nice. I'm happy they aired the missing 10/11 matches - especially the semi-main with Escorpion beating the crap out of Porky. Loved Maximo absolutely snapping and beating the crap out of Escorpion for the DQ.

12. Sombra vs Volador Jr. from Puebla was the usual real good match between those two. Even though they match is being overdone they still come up with a couple new things like the double moonsault counter. These two just seem to like working with each other which is a good thing.

13. The Puebla Relevos Incriebles match was made by Rush being Rush. Too bad they didn't show the fan trying to attack him. Hyped for the 3 way next week and upcoming Casas/Rush singles match.

14. Golden Magic vs Canis Lupis was another good match. I feel like it would have been better had anyone actually been in the crowd to make noise. Lupis is very underrated but this gimmick sucks balls.

15. Was it just me or did Mistico II look very uncomfortable working with Olimpico on C3? As if he didn't trust him at all.


16. Opening match on DTU TV was the best mixed match of the year. Everyone got to look good and it was better paced than usual DTU multi-person matches. This remains one of the funnest shows on TV right now.

17. Puebla undercards are still a mess. I understand having some rules for DF openers not getting too crazy but why are you limiting what the locals in Puebla do? It makes them insignificant and the shows much more boring since the usual CMLL crew tends to mail it in.

18. Marcela vs Dalys was passable. Strangely I liked the Princesa Blanca/Dalys match from Puebla much better and that was 2 years ago when Dalys was much worse.

19. If you are going to air one match from Guadalajara every week I'd rather it be one with effort - i.e. no top CMLL guys. Either go midcard or air an extra Sunday DF match.

20. HYPED FOR MASCARA DORADA VS VOLADOR JR. THIS SATURDAY! May actually PVR the Leafs 3rd period so I can watch it "live".

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

AAA Triplemania XXI Review

(Disclaimer: I am a huge AAA fan. It's my current favorite promotion. Anyone who knows me is aware of this. So if you intend on reading my comments and then calling my biased - you're barking up the wrong tree. Also, if you happen to work for AAA this may not be the review for you because it's full of honesty and while I appreciate all the hard work it takes into putting on a show and certain things I complain about are out of the control of the people who put the show together - I am reviewing this solely as a fan who (tried to) pay to watch the company he loves.)

I'll start doing a simple PRO/CON list for those of you who don't want to read match-by-match...

PRO:

- Entrances. Over an hour alone was dedicated to everyone getting their own entrance and each one looked better than the next.

- Abismo Negro/Hector Garza ceremonies. Very nice touches and both well done.

- Unlike at Guerra De Titanes, the main event stipulation was kept. The loser got his head shaved instead of just ripping off the fans and getting a shorter haircut.

That's it. I'm done.

CON:

- Audio. I'm not sure who AAA will blame for this one but the PPV audio was atrocious. Announcers sounded like they were in a studio. Crowd was clearly loud (youtube handheld videos confirm this) but they came off as deathly silent on TV. I would suggest the problem was acoustics in the building but last year's show sounded fine.

- Camerawork. Lots of missed spots. When the opener built to Pimpinela kissing Silver King - the camerashot switched to 50 feet away from the ring just as he did it. Dives were either missed or out of frame. Random cuts to the crowd as action was going on but delayed focus on the ring when time stood still and guys were setting up various chairs/tables.

- No standout matches. In fact, the best match on the show was HEAVY METAL vs Texano and even that was MAYBE just an average match at best. The bar was set very low on this show. It's not that the guys weren't given time, they were. They just didn't deliver at all and in some cases really underperformed. An average show can turn into a great show if there is a memorable match. This show didn't have a single one come close.

- ARE THERE ANY RULES? This is actually the thing that most bothered me during the show. In a way I'm glad the show didn't air on iPPV because it would have been really difficult to explain these matches to newer fans. There was a parade of people interfereing in matches or flat out JUST WALKING THROUGH THE RING FOR NO REASON AT ALL DURING A MATCH while the ref either watched or just pretended to be distracted. In no particular order: Nino Hamburguesa, the WWL boss, Karen Jarrett, Dorian Roldan, Mini Clown, Loquillo, Daga, Nicho, a random woman with the WWL boss, Cuervo, etc. At one point in the main event Cuervo was just walking around in the ring while Daga/Nicho were setting up tables/chairs all over the place and referee Piero was just sitting in the corner doing nothing. This came off as incredibly amateurish and it wasn't even the worst example.

- Use of horrible foreigners. Is AAA aware how minor league they come off using unknown foreigners who just embarass themselves? It's one thing to fly in people nobody knows like Davey Richards or Willie Mack. At least they are decent wrestlers and won't embarass themselves or the company they are working for. But when you foreigner list includes Los Mamitos, Matt Morgan, Monster Pain, a drunk male manager, a random female manager, Jeff Jarrett & Karen Jarrett - your company comes off looking *minor league*. It screams "we can't get real stars, our fans will have to settle for these nobodies who we pretend are stars in America." I'm sure Jeff & Karen Jarrett are real nice and easy to work with but the truth is they aren't over and there is no reason for them to be around unless Jeff is being used to put over an AAA wrestler. But that's never going to happen. We've been promised it for years and it never happens. Jeff & Karen are on vacation in Mexico, end of story. He stands in the ring doing racist stuff and people throw stuff at him. That's not a talent. That's racism. Anyone can do that. The WWL guys made fools of themselves in their matches and their boss/owner/manager was clearly drunk while out there. Made me embarassed to be an AAA fan.

- Where were Ozz/Espiritu/Escoria/Halloween? AAA spent the entire year building up the Ciber/Perrito feud as Secta vs Perros Del Mal. So how come when it was time for the big matches Cibernetico only had Cuervo & Perrito only had Daga/Nicho? It made no sense. If you have money to waste on paying the WWL guys you should easily have money to pay for everyone who has been a part of this feud to be there for the blowoff match.

- AAA's "bright future" was non-existent. Daga, Fenix, Aero Star, Pentagon Jr., Jack Evans, Angelico, Drago, etc. were either nowhere to be found on this show or were in completely unmemorable matches where they didn't stand out in any way at all. Aside from Texano Jr. & Dinastia this show was all about older wrestlers being put in the spotlight which is a giant step backwards. If you aren't using your biggest show of the year to put over the young guys - what's the point? It's just a 4 hour masterbation session for washed up old guys who want to get off on being the stars once again.

- The booking. Mind blowingly awful. From building up Texano vs a retired wrestler to using a 5 way tag match to set up a KONNAN VS VAMPIRO FEUD IN 2013 to Marisela Pena being the center of attention in 3 different matches to putting Dr. Wagner Jr. over to having Heavy Metal wrestle two matches to having random foreigners beat your trios champs (and top act)... the hits just kept on coming. I was waiting for Teddy Hart to return, Fuerza Guerrera to attack Octagon & LA Park to randomly challenge Texano and win the belt in 30 seconds. It really felt like the booking was done to accomplish two things: Keep the older guys happy & make sure the fans knew the Roldans were still the stars. If you want to disagree with this I will hear your argument as long as you can give me good answers to the following two questions:

1) Instead of Marisela Pena being attacked and making the save for herself - why not send Fenix or Aero Star or Jack Evans out there to protect her and thus be the center of attention?

2) Instead of throwing Drago & Daga in a silly 5 way tag match where nobody stands out - why not put Halloween in Daga's place, Argenis in Drago's place & give Drago/Daga a chance to do a Cruiserweight Title match?

- The entire iPPV deal of course.

Match-by-match...

1) Relevos AAA: This was great when Dinastia was in the ring & okay when the women were in the ring. Otherwise this was a very weak version of the usual Relevos AAA matches that are the funnest matches you'll ever see. Pimpinela looked simply atrocious. I don't know if it's age catching up with him or something else but he was an embarassment. I'm not a Taya Valkyrie fan but she was fine aside from one awful double duck-down spot with Fabi. Dinastia's two dives were fantastic as was the entire dive train. Would have liked to have seen Dinastia get the win in the end but Fabi getting it was fine. Second best match on the show.

2) Heavy Metal vs Chessman: Within 40 seconds Chessman was on the floor grabbing weapons. That says it all. I actually enjoyed this match in a sadistic sort of way. Chessman killed Heavy with multiple brutal chairshots and basically just threw him around. The spear through the table was an incredible spot and one of the highlights of the show. The actual highlight of the show came soon after when Chessman FUCKING MURDERED Loquillo with a guitar shot that had the little guy clearly knocked out. That didn't stop these two from doing nearfalls beside his prone body though! Finish was all wrong. Heavy Metal is in terrible shape so asking him to do 2 matches is dumb. He's not over so Texano beating him is not any sort of accomplishment. Having Chessman win here would have at least guaranteed a good title match later on. Instead after being destroyed for 10 minutes Heavy Metal rolls up Chessman. Eh. If you love carange this was your favorite match of the night besides the main event.

3) 5 Way Tag Team Title Match: It's funny... the night before the show I was saying I hope they don't use weapons and turn it into a hardcore match. Yet after watching the match I wished they had just made it a TLC match. It was just 25 minutes of moves, moves, more moves, a few dives, more moves and MAYBE some selling in between but mostly guys just standing outside the ring waiting for their turn to do more moves. The most impressive team seemed to be Jack Evans & Angelico and naturally they were eliminated first. Los Mamitos were in way over their heads but thankfully went out next. Fenix/Drago made a great team and did some really good stuff but all of it was lost in the fact people just kept doing moves with nothing being memorable. If you're a huge EVOLVE fan I guess this is your thing as you just want to see moves but matches with cool moves are only good when the crowd is eating it up. The crowd (at least on TV) seemed silent and couldn't keep up with everything being thrown at them. I counted two piledrivers in the match. I thought we were going to tell wrestlers to stop doing those? In retrospect after watching the main event doing piledrivers in this match is even dumber. Crazy Boy/Joe Lider winning was obvious since they are office favorites. I'm not too down on that since they had a shockingly good match with Jack/Angelico two weeks ago on TV but hopefully these belts don't just turn into a set of hardcore matches titles.

The post-match stuff isn't even worth addressing but I will anyways. Vampiro is back. Joy. He's apparently going to feud with Konnan. Joy. The year is 2013. I'm hoping someone in AAA will realize this one day. This entire deal came off so sad and I can't believe two guys that worked for WCW and were there for Hogan/Piper/Savage/Nash nonsense have such little self-awareness as to how ironic this all is.

4) Psycho Circus vs who cares: The less said about this match the better. A complete mess and easily the worst match on the show. AAA should be ashamed for using those awful foreigners and even more ashamed for letting them win. The drunk WWL manager dude fell down throwing a kick and gave two of the most awful belt shots you'll ever see. Remember folks - he got paid to be on this show! It all built to Karen walking over to Marisela and getting a drink tossed on her so she could be there in a wet dress with her huge boobs almost falling out of her top. Great visual, got a pop but in the end this leads nowhere. Marisela was trying hard not to laugh and is so limited she couldn't even be bothered to do anything but pour a drink. That says it all. One of the worst matches you'll see all year on the biggest AAA show of the year. Shameful.

5) Texano Jr. vs Heavy Metal: As I said earlier, Heavy Metal is in no condition to being two matches in one night. He's physically shot. But to his credit he tried hard here and on a show with so very little redeeming stuff happening in the ring this actually didn't seem so awful. Some good nearfalls and it built well. Texano won with a scary looking top rope Styles Clash. This accomplishes zero for Texano. Nobody expected Heavy Metal to win and Texano didn't even dominate him. Plus it was just a mid-card match. The third least important singles match of the show. To compound matters after the match Texano accepted a challenge from Ray Mendoza Jr. which is just idiotic. That is not the type of match that will work in front of an AAA audience on a major show. Maybe on a random Sunday in Arena Lopez Mateos. Not sure it'd even sell that building out though. If AAA is serious about Texano (and they were on the right track at Rey De Reyes!) they need to stop letting the big names run thing and tell Wagner or Park or Canek they need to stop doing bullshit matches amongst themselves and have Texano beat at least two of those three. Otherwise fans will continue to see him as a notch below the real stars.

6) Blue Demon Jr. vs El Mesias: As someone else noted "were they wrestling in a library?" Crowd seemed deathly quiet for most of this match. This late in the show doing extended matwork is not going to work with an AAA crowd. It sorta picked up near the end but this wasn't even close to on the level of their Rey De Reyes match or even their Arena Naucalpan match. When the match ended clean and there was no angle it really came off as a giant waste of time. The post-match with LA Park was good and the crowd reacted strongly but again... Park is back. Maybe to feud with Mesias. Maybe to feud with Demon. Most likely to feud with Wagner. Nothing changes. Same glass ceiling in AAA as always.

7) Legends Atomicos Match: Would have been the worst match on the show if not for the debacle with the WWL/TNA guys. Terrible brawling and no focus at all from anyone. I was actually shocked Canek/Wagner didn't try to sabatoge things by doing mask ripping since that seems right up their alley. Did they really care so little about this match/show that they couldn't even be bothered to sabatoge things??? Dinamitas looked dreadful. Universo in particular. Totally out of shape compared to his CMLL appearence earlier this year. I didn't understand why Dorian Roldan was interfereing or why the referee was watching him and not doing anything. But maybe it's just me. I rarely understand anything that has to do with the Roldans in AAA but if things follow the usual pattern this won't be followed up on at all and they'll do an angle on TV that totally counters anything that happened in this match. (Remember the AMAZING FIRING ANGLE THAT WAS GOING TO CHANGE AAA FOREVER?) Anyways... Wagner wins. Obviously. He wasn't coming back for this show unless he was winning but at least AAA was smart enough to bring in people for him to pin rather than have him beat an AAA guy. Awful match that sets up a bunch of feuds for the future that only work to set AAA back 20 years if we're getting Canek/Wagner, Parka/Villano IV & Octagon/?Fuerza? down the line.

8) Cibernetico vs Perro Aguayo Jr.: I'm being honest here - I *really* wanted to like this match. I was hoping it would be like the Parka/Cibernetico mask match or Parka/Muerte Cibernetica mask match that ended up being huge brawls with crazy bumps from the stables connected with the match. But this match just instantly turned me off when Daga/Nicho walked right into the ring and began setting up equipment while Piero had to pretend to be busy with Cuervo or stand there like an idiot. Also, Ciber/Perrito are two incredibly sloppy workers. Some of the stuff they had in mind was a good idea in theory but their execution was terrible (see: the two low blow nearfalls). Perrito has this rep as being a good worker but since he's left CMLL what has he actually done? He's a pure garbage match wrestler now and a bad one at that. The best moment of the match was when Cibernetico hulked up and speared Perrito, threw Nicho through a table & then choke slammed Daga to the floor through a table. The ref bump by Piero was awful. The tombstone on Copetes made no sense from Ciber's perspective since he had the match won. Perrito finally won with a double stomp onto a board laying on Ciber. Crowd was red hot but in my opinion moreso because these two guys are super over - not because the match was anything special.

Best matches in order:

1. Heavy Metal/Texano (average at best)
2. Relevos AAA
3. 5 way tag
4. Ciber/Perrito
5. Mesias/Demon
6. Metal/Chessman
7. Legends Atomicos
8. Clowns/Foreigners

Overall I'd give the show a 2 out of 10. I would not reccomend any new viewers trying to get into AAA by watching this show. There's just too much unexplainable nonsense going on and most of the guys that make AAA as great as it is aren't featured at all. In fact, the AAA I spent 4 and a half hours watching here didn't remind me at all of the AAA I've loved all year so far. I feel like the promotion took a HUGE step back by building things around washed up older wrestlers & foreigners who mean nothing while treating the few young guys who actually made the show was third-class nobodies.

On the scale of all-time Triplemania events I'd put this one in the bottom three. Just above the awful 1998 show & the all-time atrocious 2003 show.

I had such high hopes but this event was a total and complete failure in the eyes of this hardcore AAA fan and I didn't feel happy writing any of the above.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

2013 MOTYC's

Titan vs Polvora (Mexican National Welterweight Title) - 1/1/13 (*)

Rush vs Terrible (CMLL Heavyweight Title) - 1/22/13

Ricky Marvin & Super Crazy vs Fenix & Pesadilla (GHC Jr. Tag Team Titles) - 1/26/13

Volador Jr. vs Rey Escorpion (CMLL Light Heavyweight Title) - 1/29/13 (*)

Alan Xtreme vs Canis Lupis vs Centvrion vs Eterno vs Fulgore - 2/7/13 (*)

Carta Brava Jr. vs Cerebro Negro - 2/7/13 (*)

La Sombra vs Volador Jr. - 2/15/13

Alan Xtreme vs Carta Brava Jr. vs Centvrion vs Dinamic Black vs Golden Magic - 2/17/13

Akuma vs Bobby Zavala vs Camaleon vs Cholo vs Espanto Jr. vs Herodes Jr. vs Hombre Bala Jr. vs Horuz vs Soberano Jr. vs Stigma - 2/26/13

Fuego & Stuka Jr. vs Namajague & Okumura (Arena Coliseo Tag Team Titles) - 3/3/13

Argenis/Drago/Fenix vs Centvrion/Dinamic Black/Golden Magic - 3/7/13

La Sombra & Volador Jr. vs Atlantis & Ultimo Guerrero - 3/15/13

Rey Cometa & Stuka Jr. vs Namajague & Okumura (Hair/Mask vs Mask/Hair) - 3/15/13 (*)

Crazy Boy vs Daga vs Fenix vs Juventud Guerrera (AAA Fusion Title) - 3/17/13

Dinamic Black vs Fenix (IWRG Intercontinental Welterweight Title) - 3/21/13

Dinamic Black & Saruman vs Alan Xtreme & Imposible - 3/23/13 (*)

Mascara Dorada vs Rey Escorpion - 3/29/13

Atomic Boy/Flamita/Jinzo vs Gran Apache/Lucky Boy/Nino De Ebano - 3/29/13

AR Fox vs Flamita - 3/31/13 (*)

Blue Panther/El Averno/Shocker vs Black Terry/Negro Navarro/Villano IV - 4/7/13 (*)

Dinastia/Mascarita Divina/Rey Celestial vs Mini Abismo Negro/Mini Charly Manson/Mini Histeria - 4/15/13 (*)

Atlantis & Hombre Bala Jr. vs Rey Escorpion & Bobby Zavala - 4/26/13 (*)

Rey Cometa vs Namajague (Hair vs Hair) - 4/26/13 (*)

Blue Panther vs Virus - 5/12/13

La Sombra vs Shinsuke Nakamura (IWGP Intercontinental Title) - 5/31/13 (*)

Mascara Dorada vs Negro Casas (NWA Welterweight Title) - 6/2/13 (*)

Rush vs Shinsuke Nakamura - 6/9/13 (*)

Negro Casas/Stuka Jr./Valiente vs Virus/Fuego/Vangelis - 6/14/13

Mascara Dorada vs El Averno (NWA Welterweight Title) - 6/18/13

Aero Star vs Drago vs Fenix vs Pentagon Jr. (AAA FUSION Title) - 6/23/13

Shocker/Negro Casas/Terrible vs Rush/Maximo/Rey Escorpion - 6/28/13

La Sombra vs Volador Jr. (IWGP Intercontinental Title) - 6/28/13 (*)

Drago/Fenix/Flamita vs Pentagon Jr./Steve Pain/Ultimo Gladiador - 7/7/13

Titan vs El Averno (Mexican National Welterweight Title) - 7/9/13 (*)

Flamita/Lucky Boy/Nino De Ebano vs Carta Brava Jr./Eterno/Steve Pain - 8/2/13

Angel De Oro vs Puma - 8/4/13

Ultimo Guerrero vs Rey Escorpion - 8/13/13

La Sombra vs Volador Jr. - 8/16/13

Aero Star/Angelico/Jack Evans vs Pentagon Jr./Machine Rocker/Soul Rocker - 8/16/13

Blue Panther vs El Averno (Hair vs Hair) - 9/13/13

Mistico II/Mascara Dorada/Valiente vs Rey Escorpion/Dragon Rojo Jr./Polvora (CMLL Trios Titles) - 9/13/13 (*)

La Sombra vs Volador Jr. (Mask vs Mask) - 9/13/13 (*)

El Hijo Del Fantasma/Rey Cometa/Triton vs Puma/Tiger/Ishii - 9/20/13

Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Virus (CMLL Super Lightweight Title) - 10/6/13 (*)

Negro Casas vs Rush vs Shocker - 11/11/13

Belial vs Ricky Marvin - 11/17/13

Mascara Dorada vs Volador Jr. (NWA Welterweight Title) - 11/19/13

Titan vs Averno (Mexican National Welterweight Title) - 12/1/13 (*)

(* -> Closer to MOTY)

Monday, February 04, 2013

Various Thoughts to start 2013

- Clearly the highlight of the weekend was Volador Jr. vs Rey Escorpion for the CMLL Light Heavyweight Title. An absolutely magnificent match with two guys at the top of their game. Escorpion is like Jerry Estrada re-invented with his willingness to take mind-boggling insane bumps, natural charisma and the ability to put his opponent over like a million bucks even if it makes him look bad (which by the way IS THE JOB OF A RUDO - Attention: Under 30 year old rudos in Mexico). If you really wanted to nitpick the match I would guess the issue would be with the finish where Escorpion just no-sells Volador's finisher. I'm gonna chalk it up to the recent Japan influence and it wasn't enough to ruin the match for me. Right up there with Titan vs Polvora as the best match so far this year. Maybe better... I'll have to re-watch.

- The Volador headscissors taking Escorpion off the apron was INSANE! Got me thinking what is the best ever version of that spot. Gotta be Rey/Juventud from their Sumo Hall match in WAR or Rey/Psicosis at Bash at the Beach '96. Juventud/Kidman had a great version at World War 3 '98 too.

- Do you know what the dirty little secret of most hardcore CMLL fans is? Rey Escorpion is an AAA guy. All the CMLL fans on twitter who went crazy for the match with Volador didn't once mention he's not a CMLL trained guy and as of only a few years ago was part of the "circus" as they call AAA. Another example of why those who say "CMLL rules, AAA sucks" can't be taken seriously. If you can't open your mind and just want to make blanket statements about each company don't be surprised when your opinions aren't taken seriously. Each company has negatives and positives.

- The CMLL Galavision main event was excellent! If you didn't see it you are about five years behind on where high flying is heading in the world of professional wrestling. Actually if you don't watch Mascara Dorada regularly you are about ten years behind. The man is doing stuff that US indy guys might finally figure out to do in 2023.

- AAA had a really solid TV show. I still think with only 43 minutes of TV the entrances need to either be cut or shown in edited form because these matches are getting edited to shreds. But this week wasn't as bad as last week was.

- Great to see Mini Abismo Negro back in action! Looks as great as he always did. Awesome to see him and Octagoncito doing their thing again and Dinastia vs Mini Abismo = a world of possibility! Their brief 30 second exchange had me craving more.

- Escoria is JACKED! I'm sure he wouldn't pass a wellness test but that's not issue. He looks awesome and was in top form against the Inferno Rockers. I would be 100% in favor of splitting him from the group. Espiritu is kinda useless to me & Cuervo is really not doing anything for me since he started teaming with Fabi Apache. I'd love to see an Ozz/Escoria team seperate from anything involving the Secta. The finish of the match was really good. The ultimate fakeout! Play Uro Rocker's music but nail your finisher when the guy is distracted!

- Main event was DRAGO BACK ON MY TV! NO COMPLAINTS! Your loss Octagon Jr.! Pentagon Jr. had a funny entrance where he forced the Octagon kid to take his mask off. Should have made the Dragon Rojo masked kid take his off too! This role is perfect for Pent Jr. He has the mannerisms down and is so talented. Really hope they stick with it. Drago/Fenix looked great in the match although holy fuck... Fenix is going to DIE if he keeps doing dives like that. It's clear he thinks his body is unbreakable and who am I to argue? It clearly is if you saw both his TV matches this weekend. The finish was really cool! Springboard double jump Spanish Fly! No comment on Octagon's performance. He has his issues and they were clearly evident. I'm not even sure if he knew what planet he was on by the end of the match. But the other five guys are so great Octagon wasn't even needed.

- I haven't seen it yet but I heard the AAA TDN show will air the Billy Boy/Gran Apache hair match from 2008 along with both men doing present day commentary about it. That sounds like a fantastic idea. Kudos to whoever came up with that!

- Drago/Fenix vs Daga/Dark Dragon from Monterrey was short but fun. You can't go wrong with those four.

- Rey Cometa busted out the Brillo Cometa on Fox Sports! Maybe his best version since it's debut?

- The CMLL Fox Sports opener had some really nice moments but overall left me wanting more. Is CMLL not letting Triton do dives any more in hopes he will become a more well-rounded luchador? I'm not sure that's the way to go with a 10+ year guy. Without his dives he doesn't really stand out and if you saw his match on C3... he's not very good at the non-dives part of Lucha Libre. I thought Black Warrior was going to murder him.

- You know who is good at Lucha Libre? This Guerrero Maya Jr. fella. I need to see him vs Black Warrior sometime soon.

- I think CubsFan (@luchablog) may be onto something with his predictions of a double apuesta match at H2L. I hope he's right because Stuka Jr. vs Namajague is quite the unappealing match to me. I could see them doing Estrellita vs Amapola on the same card too and having the main event be a random six man tag teasing matches that won't happen this year. Maybe a Relevos Incriebles match with Sombra/Ultimo Guerrero/Terrible vs Escorpion/Atlantis/Rush? Some mix of those guys will work.

- We can't lose with the Reyes Del Aire finals. Sombra is already through. Either we get our first ever Friday night Sombra/Volador match or CMLL balances out the rudo vs rudo match from last Tuesday and does Sombra vs Mascara Dorada or Angel De Oro. Either way I think we're in for a treat...

- ... but it wouldn't be ME without complaining and I really do have to say this: I'm all for extended the Reyes Del Aire to a 3 week tournament but what is the purpose of having the tournament if you are just going to use the same guys you use for every other tournament? Why do a Reyes Del Aire if you aren't going to include Pegasso, Soberano Jr., Horuz, Hombre Bala Jr., Super Halcon Jr., Stigma or Oro Jr.? It defeats the purpose of the tournament if guys like Maximo, Polvora, Felino & Namajague are involved. Might as well have just called it the Copa Junior or Leyenda Azul. I would rather it go back to a one night match next year or if CMLL insists on having it spread over 3 weeks than at least make it two weeks of 12 guys each week and ONLY high flyers. Leave the other guys out.

- Speaking of Stigma... he hasn't really impressed me so far in his DF matches. It's not entirely his fault since he usually gets booked with the Tuereg who are absolutely dull and horrible bases for flying tecnicos (Hooligan excluded). I can't help but think his spot would have been better used on Asturiano or Millenium. Of course neither of them are related to CMLL officials.

- Do I need to pay AAA to get Aero Star back on TV? It's getting a little ridiculous now with Super Fly & Argenis being on TV tapings but Aero Star is nowhere to be found. Either there is a story here nobody is telling involving Aero Star's personal life or someone in charge of AAA is holding a personal grudge against Aero Star for something. AAA is usually good at capitalizing on the talent they have so let's hope starting with the 2/18 taping Aero Star is back in action where he belongs - teaming with Fenix/Drago against Pentagon Jr. & friends!

- I already gushed about this match on twitter but if you haven't seen the Ricky Marvin/Super Crazy vs Fenix/Pesadilla match from Tercera Caida you really need to!

- In a perfect world I'd like to see Ricky Marvin return to CMLL. I don't think it can happen politically and I know he has more ties to AAA than CMLL but tell me you wouldn't want to see Ricky Marvin vs Negro Casas or Ricky Marvin vs La Sombra?

- I don't know what the deal is with those clowns in IWRG but they are awful. Can we move on and stop wasting one match per week on their garbage? The less them and the more Alan Xtreme the better!

- I'm hoping the rumors of Relampago showing up in CMLL soon are untrue. He's not very good and isn't even that well known that people will be interested. He'll be just another guy teaming with Pegasso against the Tuereg. That helps nobody and is a waste of a roster space better used on Flamita.

- When is FUSION coming back? It seems unfair that CMLL has 8 TV shows and AAA just has 1.

- Terrible news about Astro De Plata's injury. He's super talented and hopefully will come back just as good as he was. Injury couldn't have come at a worse time too.

- Speaking of that XMW show: Is someone going to tell Impulso to calm down? That same dive off the balcony on every show is just going to make the crowd react to it less each time. And then he'll have to jump from higher and higher onto more objects. That's the problem with the hardcore style. Impulso is too talented to kill himself this early in his career. Leave the garbage nonsense for Aero Boy & Violento Jack. They're need to do that stuff because if they aren't destroying their bodies in silly matches with foreign
objects they have nothing else to offer.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rey Cometa vs Puma King - Mask vs Mask

(Haven't done a single match recap in so long but this match deserves it)

Puma King comes out first to "You Give Love A Bad Name" by Bon Jovi. Rey Cometa is next to whatever Elegido's theme music is in AAA. Guess what? HE GOT AN ENTRANCE VIDEO! FINALLY! He stops at the top of the ramp to take his jacket off... AND LEAPS OFF WITH A DOUBLE TORNILLO PLANCHA ONTO PUMA KING BELOW!!! HOLEE-SHIT!!! In any other universe that is the spot of the year but the match hasn't even officially begun! Cometa whips Puma into the ring, gives him a frankensteiner off the top rope and nails him with a wild tope suicida! Dueling chants! Back inside Cometa with a handspring backflip, somersault up Puma into a sunset flip, Puma escapes, rolls Cometa back and locks on a submission... and Cometa gives up! Crowd chants 'Puma, Puma, Puma!'

Puma misses a charge into the corner to start the second fall. Cometa clothesline misses, Puma does the Sabu backflip escape and trips Cometa coming off the ropes then dropkicks him in the face! Classic Puma King! Time for classic Rey Cometa as he does his no-hands rope fakeout as Puma slides outside to the flor. Cometa jumps onto the apron and goes for a frankensteiner... but Puma catches him! And just as he's done for weeks leading up to the match he swings Cometa into the barricade hard! Crowd loves it! Back inside press slam into double knees? No just a press slam and Puma starts ripping Cometa's mask up! Crowd boo's! Puma supporters cheer him! Clothesline takes off Cometa's head! Cometa whipped into the turnbuckles and bounces off right into a superkick! Crowd loves it! Another whip but Cometa escaped to the apron and kicks Puma King who got stuck on the top rope! Flying dropkick! Whip into the ropes... standing Spanish Fly! That's one of his finishers! Only a two! Cometa picks up Puma and slams him down. 450 Splash! That's his move! 1, 2... 3! Tied up 1-1!

Another Puma charge misses, Cometa superkick misses, Puma superkick connects! Backdrop lands Puma on the apron where he gets slapped hard. Cometa climbs up... no way... he wouldn't... FRANKENSTEINER OFF THE TOP ROPE TAKES PUMA OFF THE APRON TO THE FLOOR! A CLASSIC SICK SPOT! Puma lays there for a bit as Cometa lines him up... for the running double tornillo??? NO! COMETA IN THE BIGGEST MATCH OF HIS LIFE PULLS OUT THE SECOND ROPE SPRINGBOARD DOUBLE TORNILLO aka THE DIVE OF THE DECADE!!! Previously he had only hit it 3 times in late 2009 before he messed up badly and hurt his ankle (and ego) trying it at Arena Mexico. Since then he only used it one more time before retiring it... until now! Crowd pops HUGE and we actually get Cometa chants! Both guys sell the dive for a long time. Trading chops, Puma kicks Cometa down and goes for his mask! But Cometa pulls himself up and reverses it! TIME TO RIP UP PUMA'S MASK! Puma fans disapprove! Cometa trips Puma coming off the ropes... LA CASITA! 1, 2... too close to the ropes! Cometa charges Puma but gets hiptossed and bounces off the ropes which is the usual setup for Puma's submission finisher but Cometa kicks him instead! Cometa gets backdropped onto the apron and this times receives a kick! Puma hits the ropes... RUNNING SUNSET FLIP POWER BOMB TO THE FLOOR! COMETA LANDS HARD ON HIS HEAD! CROWD ERUPTS! INSANITY!!! These guys are just murdering each other! After over a minute and a half recovering Puma slams Cometa and goes up top... flying senton misses! HURACANRANA BY COMETA! 1, 2, KICKOUT! HUGE POP! Cometa goes for a roll-up but Puma crawls away and clotheslines the ?tecnico? down! Loud 'Puma' chants! Puma goes up top but Cometa cuts him off. Both balancing on top... SPANISH FLY! HUGE POP! 1, 2... NO! CROWD CAN'T BELIEVE IT! They're banging on anything available! INVERTED GORY SPECIAL BY PUMA KING! WILL COMETA GIVE UP??? He fights it off and rolls up Puma... who rolls through... AND RIGHT INTO HIS REINERA FINISHER! BUT THE SPINNING TAKES COMETA INTO THE ROPES! HE'S SAFE! Puma walks over and grabs the still dangling Cometa for a hanging DDT! Only a 2! What a match! Cometa places Puma up top with some difficulty and then nails a leaping frankensteiner taking Puma down! 1, 2, KICKOUT! CROWD CAN'T BELIEVE IT! Cometa is frustrated! Puma charges Cometa but gets placed up top....Cometa climbs up for another frankensteiner but Puma resists and punches Cometa in the gut... oh no... you gotta be kidding me... PUMA KING LIFTS UP REY COMETA AND DROPS HIM WITH AN ABSOLUTELY SICK TOP ROPE POWER BOMB VARIATION! CROWD EXPLODES! 1, 2... 2.5!!!!!!!!! INSANE POP FOR THE KICKOUT! THIS MATCH IS INSANE!!! Crowd singing for Puma! Puma charge misses, Cometa gets backdropped outside, slaps Puma King and nails a tornillo off the top! 2 count only! Great touch there as that used to be Cometa's finisher in his early days in AAA. 'Cometa' chants! Puma off the ropes... gets caught with the standing Spanish Fly! Cover? No! It didn't work in the first fall so why would it now? Cometa slams Puma down and goes up! 450 again? Worked once! THERE IT IS! 1, 2... 2.5! Not this time! If only Rey Cometa had a secondary finisher! But he doesn't! Cometa stands with Puma in the corner wondering what he has to do to win! He whips Puma into the turnbuckles but gets kicked in the face! Puma slingshots himself to the apron... SPRINGBOARD FRONTCRACKER! THAT'S ONE OF HIS MOVES! Great impact! 1, 2... COMETA KICKS OUT! CROWD STUNNED! Another vicious kick! Cometa is groggy! Backstabber off the second turnbuckle is a bit off but Puma grabs Cometa and locks on... HIS FATHER'S FINISHER - THE INVERTED FIGURE FOUR! The same move he used to shockingly win Ciclon Ramirez's mask 19 years ago in one of the biggest upsets ever! COMETA GIVES UP ALMOST IMMEDIATLY! CROWD GOES NUTS! PUMA KING WINS! WHAT A MATCH!!!

I can't even put into words how amazing this match was being a huge Rey Cometa supermark. Anything you could have wanted to see him do he did AND MORE! The stage dive, the dive of the decade, the insane bumps, his old tornillo finisher... he delivered! Puma King gets ton of credit as well for taking some sick bumps himself and being right there to catch Cometa every time. The level of difficulty in this match was a 15 out of 10! It's absolutely mind boggling they managed to pull off everything since it took such precise timing and guts! No matter if you are a CMLL fan or not you had to have enjoyed this match a ton!

I have no doubts barring a miracle this will be my match of the year. I also have no doubts this is one of the most memorable apuesta matches involving one of my favorite wrestlers ever. I was very sad to hear Cometa lost but he went down with a fight and gave an incredible performance! He earned this match with hard work alone. He has no family connections and had to work his way up from the opening matches to co-headline the biggest CMLL show of the year. Stories like that should give you hope when you watch guys like Aero Star, Drago, Valiente, Guerrero Maya Jr., Freelance, etc. who all risk their lives every show and have yet to be given the chance to be in headline matches on major shows. Hard work actually does pay off every once in a while for the guys that really deserve it!

VIVA REY COMETA! #porraReyCometa

*****

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Monday, July 09, 2012

My MOTYC's Thus Far

We've reached the half-point of the year and I've been asked a bunch of times recently so here's a list of all my match of the year candidates so far. Keep in mind I am very behind on CMLL Puebla, IWRG & Perros Del Mal though I imagine there isn't much worthy from the latter.

--------------------------------------------

(* = high end MOTYC likely to finish in my top 5 come end of the year)

(Note: I had Prince Devitt vs Volador Jr. from 3/30/12 on the list but after a re-watch it didn't impress me so I took it off.)

Skayde/Black Terry/Hijo De Pirata Morgan vs Negro Navarro/Trauma I/Trauma II - 1/1/12 
La Mascara/La Sombra/Mascara Dorada vs Mr. Aguila/Psicosis/Volador Jr. - 1/13/12
Daga/Eterno/Flamita vs Sadico/Trauma I/Trauma II - 1/14/12 (*) 
Titan vs Polvora (Mexican National Welterweight Title) - 1/31/12 (*)
Reyes Del Aire - 2/3/12 (*)
La Sombra vs Negro Casas (NWA Welterweight Title) - 2/13/12
Electrico/Fantasy/Ultimo Dragoncito vs Demus 3:16/Pequeno Olimpico/Pierrothito - 2/14/12
Negro Navarro/Trauma I/Trauma II vs Pirata Morgan/Hijo De Pirata Morgan/Pirata Morgan Jr. - 2/25/12
Blue Panther vs Negro Casas (Hair vs Hair) - 3/2/12 (*) 
Gym IWRG vs Gym Tony Rivera - 3/4/12
Marcela vs Ayumi (CMLL Women's Title) - 3/9/12
Argenis/Drago/Fenix vs Argos/Semental/Toscano - 3/11/12 (*)
Angelico/Carta Brava Jr./Saruman vs Hijo De Dr. Wagner Jr./Hijo De Rey Misterio/Rayman - 3/31/12
Delta/Guerrero Maya Jr./La Sombra vs Averno/Mephisto/Efesto - 4/24/12
Chicano/Dinamic Black/Golden Magic vs Alan Xtreme/Carta Brava Jr./Douki - 4/29/12 
Mini Reyes Del Aire - 5/1/12 
Titan vs Niebla Roja - 5/1/12
Mascara Dorada vs Psicosis (CMLL Welterweight Title) - 5/22/12 
La Sombra/Marco Corleone/Mascara Dorada vs Dragon Rojo Jr./Volador Jr./Yujiro - 5/25/12
Aero Star/Fenix/Sugi vs Argos/Semental/Toscano - 6/1/12 (*)
Dinamic Black/Golden Magic/Saruman vs Alan Xtreme/Carta Brava Jr./Imposible - 6/2/12 (*)
Rey Cometa/Starman/Stuka Jr. vs Puma King/Sangre Azteca/Virus - 6/22/12
Titan vs Euforia - 6/22/12 (*)
Atlantis/Delta/Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Black Warrior/Mr. Aguila/Volador Jr. - 6/22/12 (*)
Rey Cometa/Sagrado/Stuka Jr. vs Misterioso II/Puma King/Virus - 6/29/12 (*)
Aereo vs Pequeno Nitro (Mask vs Mask) - 7/15/12 

Dinastia/Mascarita Dorada/Octagoncito vs Mini Charly Manson/Mini Histeria/Mini Psicosis - 7/27/12

Smaker vs Barbaro Cavernario (Occidente Middleweight Title) - 8/28/12
Titan vs Polvora (Mexican National Welterweight Title) - 9/4/12 (*)
Angel De Oro/La Sombra/Titan vs Namajague/Okumura/Taichi - 9/14/12 
Rey Cometa vs Puma King (Mask vs Mask) - 9/14/12 (*)
Rush vs Terrible (Hair vs Hair) - 9/14/12 (*)
El Hijo Del Fantasma/Rey Cometa/Valiente vs Niebla Roja/Puma King/Virus - 9/21/12 
Titan vs Mephisto - 9/25/12 (*)
Fenix/Freelance/Samurai Del Sol vs Los Inferno Rockers - 9/28/12 (*)
La Mascara/La Sombra/Mistico vs Dragon Rojo Jr./Escorpion/Euforia - 10/5/12 
Dinastia/Mascarita Dorada/Octagoncito vs Mini Charly Manson/Mini Histeria/Mini Psycho Clown - 10/7/12 

Fantasy vs Mercurio (Mask vs Mask) - 10/14/12
La Sombra vs Volador Jr. - 10/15/12
La Sombra vs Volador Jr. - 10/16/12 (*) 
Titan vs Polvora (Mexican National Welterweight Title) - 10/16/12 

Dinamic Black/Golden Magic/Saruman vs Alan Xtreme/Carta Brava Jr./Comando Negro - 10/21/12 (*)
LA Park vs Dr. Wagner Jr. - 11/15/12 
Titan vs Averno (Mexican National Welterweight Title) - 11/16/12 (*)
Dinamic Black/Golden Magic/Saruman vs Alan Xtreme/Imposible/Jack - 11/18/12
Lucky Boy/Nino De Ebano vs Eita/Lancelot vs Flamita/Rocky Lobo - 11/24/12 (*) 
El Mesias vs Texano Jr. (AAA Mega Heavyweight Title) - 12/2/12 
La Sombra vs Tama Tonga (Copa Junior) - 12/14/12 (*)

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Ultimo Guerrero = Selfish Booker, Genius or both?

Just something random that popped into my head while scouring CMLL results in 2011/2012. Ultimo Guerrero is developing into one of the better manipulators in Mexico. Every year Cubsfan of the fabulous luchablog.com puts together a list of CMLL Win/Loss Records. A funny thing shows up when you look at the 2011 list:

MOST WINS:

90 Último Guerrero - oddly high for a rudo

MOST LOSSES:

72 La Máscara
69 La Sombra
68 Máscara Dorada
68 Shigeo Okumura
66 Último Guerrero

The fact Ultimo Guerrero wins a lot isn't debateable. He was #1. The only person even remotely close to him was La Mascara and half those wins were in his feud with Averno. The curious thing is Ultimo Guerrero also lost a lot. But does that tell the whole story? Let's take a look at all his non-standard trios matches from 2011 & so far in 2012:

(I'm starting around the time it became fact that he was part of booking team in late March 2011)

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CMLL (FRI) 04/08/2011 Arena Mexico
6) Escorpion & Último Guerrero b Máscara Dorada & Metal Blanco [Gran Alternativa, final]


CMLL (TUE) 04/12/2011 Arena Mexico
6) Dragón Rojo Jr. & Último Guerrero b La Máscara & La Sombra [CMLL TAG]


CMLL (FRI) 04/29/2011 Arena Mexico
5) Último Guerrero b Hirooki Goto [CMLL HEAVY]
 

CMLL (SUN) 06/12/2011 Arena Mexico
5) Último Guerrero b Rush [CMLL HEAVY]
 

CMLL (FRI) 07/29/2011 Arena Mexico
4) Mr. Niebla b Atlantis, Máximo, Rush, Héctor Garza, Blue Panther, Shocker, Terrible, Texano, Hijo del Fantasma, Rey Bucanero, Strong Man, Último Guerrero, Ángel de Oro, Psicosis, Metro [LdA, cibernetico]

(Guerrero was pinned by Strongman) 

CMLL (FRI) 08/12/2011 Arena Mexico
6) Héctor Garza b Último Guerrero [CMLL HEAVY]
 

CMLL (FRI) 09/02/2011 Arena Mexico
12) Dragón Rojo Jr. & Último Guerrero b Atlantis & Guerrero Maya Jr. [CMLL TAG]
 

CMLL (FRI) 09/09/2011 Arena Mexico
4) Último Guerrero b Rush [CMLL Universal, eightfinal]
8) Último Guerrero b Hiroshi Tanahashi [CMLL Universal, quarterfinal]
10) Averno b Último Guerrero [CMLL Universal, semifinal]
 

CMLL (FRI) 09/23/2011 Arena Mexico
5) Atlantis b Último Guerrero
 

CMLL (SUN) 11/20/2011 Arena Mexico
4) Shocker b Atlantis, Felino, Volador Jr., La Máscara, Rey Bucanero, Jushin Lyger, Último Guerrero, Metro, Negro Casas, Super Porky, Terrible, Averno, Máximo, Texano, Delta [cibernetico, Copa Revolución Mexicana]
(Guerrero went to a double pin with Lyger)
 

CMLL (FRI) 12/09/2011 Arena Mexico
4) Último Guerrero b Jushin Lyger
 

CMLL (FRI) 02/03/2012 Arena Mexico
4) Atlantis b Último Guerrero


CMLL (FRI) 02/24/2012 Arena Mexico
10) Rush & Terrible b Marco Corleone & Último Guerrero [natl pi, semifinal]


CMLL (SUN) 03/18/2012 Arena Mexico
5) Último Guerrero b La Sombra


CMLL (FRI) 03/30/2012 Arena Mexico
8) Dragon Lee & Rush b Niebla Roja & Último Guerrero


CMLL (SUN) 04/01/2012 Arena Coliseo
5) Último Guerrero b Shocker
 

CMLL (TUE) 05/01/2012 Arena Mexico
5) Dragón Rojo Jr. & Último Guerrero b Blue Panther & Diamante Azul [CMLL TAG]
 

CMLL (SUN) 06/03/2012 Arena Coliseo
6) Último Guerrero b Diamante Azul

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What can we interpret from that list? A few things.

6. Ultimo Guerrero rarely loses a major match.

5. Hiroshi Tanihashi only took one deciding pinfall in his visit to Mexico. It was to Ultimo Guerrero.

4. Jushin Lyger was in a generous mood during his Mexico stay and lost three seperate singles matches. One to Volador Jr., one to Ultimo Guerrero & one to Dragon Rojo. How did he lose that match to Dragon Rojo? Ultimo Guerrero low blowed him outside the ring.

3. The most overtly protected wrestler in CMLL since the start of 2011 has been Rush. Ultimo Guerrero has defeated him two times. Out of Rush's 15 other singles matches in the time period, how many has he lost? Just 1. The finals of the CMLL Heavyweight Title tournament which everyone figures is just so he can win the belt back from Terrible at some point this year.

2. The only loss to anyone other than Atlantis (who Ultimo has no problem losing to since it keeps their feud on the backburner - think Canek vs Wagner over the years) was when Hector Garza pinned him. I can't figure that one out but not many people can since Garza ended up quitting the promotion 2 months later.

And the most important thing in my opinion...

1. For a guy who is constantly in the main event mix on a week-to-week basis Ultimo Guerrero has never lost to any of the top CMLL tecnicos besides Atlantis. La Mascara, La Sombra, Rush, Mascara Dorada, Shocker, Maximo, Diamante Azul, Blue Panther, etc. are all without wins over Ultimo. In fact he defeated Diamante Azul within 3 months of his "big debut" in a match where losing at Arena Coliseo would have meant nothing. Aside from losing the Universal Title tournament semi-final to Averno he's also never lost to any of the other top CMLL rudos: Mephisto, Terrible, Rey Bucanero, Texano (at the time), Negro Casas, Volador Jr., Mr. Niebla, etc. It's not as if CMLL is against rudo vs rudo matches - there have been plenty of those. The 2011 Anniversary was headlined by one. Yet somehow Ultimo Guerrero avoids getting involved and when he does he wins (beating Mr. Niebla in Puebla for example).

Question: So how is Ultimo Guerrero racking up all these losses?

Answer: Lots and lots and lots of meaningless unmemorable trios matches where most of the time he likely isn't even involved in taking the pinfalls/submissions.

Is Ultimo Guerrero a selfish booker? You just read all that... you decide.

Is Ultimo Guerrero smart? Hell fucking yes! He's managed to position himself as an invincible wrestler much the same way El Hijo Del Santo & Dr. Wagner Jr. have over the course of their careers. Pretty elite company.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

RIP CMLL

CMLL is not going to shut down any time soon. The CMLL name will live on forever, the titles will still be around and the Arena Mexico will likely run wrestling events until the day it's demolished. However, the CMLL we have known for years and years is dead. A giant nail was driven into it's heart yesterday.

CMLL still exists in the sense the UWA still existed in 1993. The company name was used, the title belts were defended and the buildings they always ran kept putting on shows. But the stars were all gone. The excitement was non-existent. There was no money. There were no fans under 40 left. It was a glorified indy used by Canek to make himself feel like a star and push his untalented friends and family.

To some people the UWA still exists to this very day. Every year a promoter puts on a series of UWA reunion shows and really senile wrestlers like Fuerza Guerrera & Mascara Sagrada will say wrestling would still be hot in Mexico if a UWA type promotion was still around. This is obviously false. Anyone with half a brain knows this.

The CMLL we know is "the serious & stable". Slowly over the past couple of years that slogan has become laughable. CMLL now features strip shows, multiple midgets intefereing in matches, Estrellita as the face of the women's division, gimmicks like Kraneo/Peste Negra/Maximo and more focus on the entertainment/television production aspect of live shows rather than action in the ring. The matches have gotten ridiculously short and are all formatted for television. CMLL has basically become what Antonio Pena's AAA was. This is not arguable at all. If I could go back 3 years and tell the most hardcore fan that the next CMLL show would be headlined by Estrellita and feature a clone of Mistico they would laugh at me and call me anti-CMLL.

The result of all this is CMLL has driven away their hardcore fans. The promotion operates like a touring promotion except they don't tour. They have burned out all their buildings and with the creation of a Mistico II they are alienating any fans that remain. Forget the fact Dragon Lee isn't talented or charasmatic - who is this gimmick aimed at? Kids? CMLL doesn't draw lots of kids as it is b/c it's an unfriendly kid atmosphere. Teens? The same teens that grew up with Mistico are now going to return to watch a phony? Really? I'd love to see that. If anything those teens will make fun of any younger siblings who dare watch a fake Mistico. Adults? The only adults at CMLL shows these days are drunk young men/women or older couples out with their kid for a once a week show. They have no vested interest in the promotion itself. If IWRG ran a show at Arena Mexico those same people would come. CMLL has disassociated themselves from any sort of fanbase. The VERY few hardcore loyalists that remain are out numbered by edecanes on major shows.

Now you have the ongoing rumors that CMLL is trying to sell off Arena Coliseo and Arena Coliseo Guadalajara. Combine that with the well known fact Paco Alonso has no interest in CMLL itself and has implented a group of bafoons to run the company in his absence. They push their friends and family because they can. Also because they are not bright. They are all ex-wrestlers and let's be honest - very few become wrestlers by choice. It's a last resort to destroy your body for little pay. CMLL is run by incompetent old stupid men. This is fact and once again not arguable. They have tried to insert new blood into the office. Edgar Noriugea is no help as he's learned everything from the current staff of morons. Ultimo Guerrero is only interested in pushing in buddies and his booking is as dull as his singles matches.

I am now actively rooting for CMLL to die. I've been accused of being anti-CMLL by all the usual nutcases out there but that was never true until yesterday. I respect most of the wrestlers and want them to make money and be successful. This is impossible under the current regime. My new hope is CMLL as we know it dies so that all the fools who run CMLL now can be known as the people responsible for it's death. Much like Canek will always be treated as a Mexican hero he will also always be known as the guy who played a major part in killing the UWA. As an added bonus when Dragon Lee fails as a clone I want to be the one to laugh at any fool who suggested it might be successful. It won't. It's not only a bad business decision, it's an insult to what's left of a loyal fanbase.

I'll keep watching CMLL because I enjoy some wrestlers and there is nothing better than Mexican wrestling but I couldn't give a fuck about anything outside of the in-ring action.

CMLL is a corrupt promotion run by old men with no respect for their own fans. Keep that in mind next time you invest cash or emotion into anything.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ranking the CMLL Mini's & Women!

MINI'S
========  

1. Pierrothito

The king! Has been the best overall mini for many years now and is the glue that holds the division together. Sorta like Mini Abismo Negro was before he disappeared into the abyss. Rumored to be in charge of the division now and the guy who puts the matches together which explains why the matches have been so great this year with such limited talent.  

2. Demus 3:16

He's in a bad spot since he failed as a regular sized guy and now it looks silly seeing him work with much smaller guys. That doesn't take away from the fact he is still wildly entertaining and one of the best catchers in CMLL.  

3. Electrico He's blown right past a bunch of veteran guys to take this spot. He's worked hard and had the help of learning on the job from guys like Pierrothito & Demus. He's clearly the current 'ace' of the tecnicos and the mini tecnico CMLL is going to build around. Well deserved!

4. Ultimo Dragoncito

Starting to get back on track after almost burning himself to death. Has always been one of the better minis and with the lack of depth in CMLL right now putting him up here is an easy decision.  

5. Pequeno Olimpico

I'm not as down on him as some are. He's a bit boring at times but his veteran presence is often needed in matches especially with so many young green guys on the tecnico side. He can still go when he wants.  

6. Pequeno Warrior

Guilty of clowning around too much during matches but when he is in the position to carry a match he can step up his game.  

7. Bam Bam

Such a disappointment. Even just as recent as over a year ago he'd easily be a top 3 guy and I was pushing for him to get bumped up to the regular sized division. Then he started no-showing and when he did appear he would be working at half speed and joking his way through matches. I can't tell if CMLL has just killed his spirit by doing nothing with him or whether outside the ring issues are ruining what was a promising career.

8. Fantasy

Used to pretty dull to watch but now that he is getting booked more he is working harder. Has a fun moveset and the fact he doesn't mess up at least 3 moves per match automatically makes him a blessing!  

9. Pequeno Violencia

Limited appearences but he's as solid as they come when he is around.  

10. Mercurio

The one newcomer to the division who has actually been impressive in almost all his appearences. One wonders if he was trained outside of CMLL considering he doesn't fit the generic mold of all their homebred rookies.  

11. Astral

One of my favorites to watch! Much like Triton has a variety of incredibles spots and dives. But also much like Triton is very inconsistent and appears clueless what to do in between moves. Seems to be a gymnast turned luchador rather than a guy who grew up wanting to be a wrestler. Definitely needs one of the top rudos to look good.  

12. Pequeno Maximo

I like him better in his other role.:p Humorous to watch in this role once in a while though.  

13. Pequeno Nitro

Very inconsistent to the point of annoyance. You can never tell which guy you'll get when he shows up. One week he's a great base and has devastating moves. The next week he's out of position on every spot and seems like he's never been in a wrestling ring before. A huge letdown after he impressed initially.  

14. Pequeno Universo 2000

Too small. 10-15 years ago he'd have been perfect for the division working with smaller tecnicos. Now he really sticks out as being a short pudgy guy with absolutely zero offensive moves of note. Isn't even a good base/catcher which begs the question - why is he kept around?  

15. Aereo

One of two really green tecnicos who showed up recently and appear to be learning nothing. Has a couple of fun spots but is otherwise horrible.  

16. Pequeno Halcon

The other one! He seems to understand less than Aereo. Also troubling is neither of these guys seem to want to stand out and are more than content to work a generic style usually reserved for mini's on the independent shows. Perhaps it's only because they aren't allowed to try new stuff until they figure out the basics? Hopefully these two aren't a sign of where the division is headed in the future. N/A: Nino De Acero (not enough matches)  

WOMEN 
======  

1. Marcela

The queen of the division. Always has good matches, can drag even the worst opponents to passable matches and is respected by both male and female fans. Her twitter account is a bit dull though.  

2. La Amapola

Same as Marcela but I put her a notch lower since she seems to get angry when working with the incompetent lower ranked girls which tends to ruin matches. She's an amazing bumper and great ruda though.

3. Dark Angel

Might be my #1 if she was around more often. Always makes matches more exciting and is the closest thing to a high flyer you'll ever see in a luchadora. It's a shame CMLL can't pay her what she gets in TNA b/c by only using her part-time it gives her no chance to do a feud.  

4. Lady Apache

One of the best for 20 years now. She used to be my favorite to watch but has considerably slowed down over the past 2 years due to the pregnancy and that pesky thing called aging. Can still go in the ring but has been clearly surpassed by others.  

5. Princesa Blanca

Getting better and better. The best overall ruda in CMLL and is now able to carry the bottom rung luchadoras unlike a year or so ago where'd she just end up falling down to their level.  

6. Princesa Sujei

Has she been showing up less often or is it just me? When she is around she's fine but I question the level of effort. She seems to have given up now that she isn't ever focused on individually.  

7. Zeuxis

The fastest progressing of the newer CMLL luchadoras thanks to her time in Japan. Incredible moveset and great look for a ruda. Gotta imagine she'll be the central focus of the division when she starts back full-time in Mexico.  

8. Silueta

Japan did her wonders! Really promising in her limited appearences since the tours of Japan began. Seems to be comfortable as a high flyer and can more than hold up her end of the deal in matches (trios or singles).

9. Lluvia

She began improving about a year and a half ago and since then has mainly been in Japan so one can only assume she'll be better than ever when she returns full-time.  

10. Goya Kong

She's a sideshow act just like her dad but at least she's a capable sideshow act. Moves well for a larger lady and understands how to sell for someone twice the size of her opponents. She does great to work around her natural limitations.  

11. La Comandante

Her offense is the drizzling shits but she's a perfectly fine base and a great ruda.  

12. Mima Shimoda

No effort at all. She's more than capable of being three times better than she currently is but she's clearly on cruise control. If CMLL had management that cared they'd give her roster spot to a woman that cared about having a job and making herself better.  

13. La Seductora

The best thing you can say about her is she tries hard. Doesn't seem to be naturally athletic but tries to make up for it which is what often leads to her slip-ups.  

14. Estrellita

She's eye candy. Nothing more, nothing less. She definitely tries to work hard but she's just not capable of keeping up with the regular top end crew. But she doesn't need to. She's CMLL's new poster luchadora.  

15. Dalys

About what you'd expect from a 40 year old wife of a wrestler who randomly decided (forced?) to start wrestling. She mimics moves well but clearly has no concept of being a wrestler and is one of the worst sellers you'll ever see.

16. Luna Magica

At least her hair is growing now b/c I was starting to get weird thoughts about a certain CMLL booker having a strange fetish. She's a horrible wrestler and has no redeeming qualities. She does wild dives for no reason and is completely reckless when doing them. Waste of a paycheque.  

17. Tiffany

I don't want to be sexist so I won't say exactly what I'm thinking but let's just put it this way... when women get older their bodies change in certain ways... especially women who have had kids. These changes are why you rarely, if ever, see women taking part in sports that require lots of physical activity. Tiffany is practically immobile. Just trying to jump appears to be a streneous activity for her. Her rolling bumps are practically made for botchmania. I fast forward anything she is involved in.

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