Sunday, January 08, 2012

What I Enjoyed in 2011!

We all know 2011 wasn't exactly the best year for business in Mexico but let's not focus on that right now. Let's focus on the good things we saw this year... the things that give us hope going into 2012! Who else to point these things out than me - Mr. Negativity!

Forjando un Idolo: Easily one of the highlights of the year in CMLL. 16 youngsters in 4 groups doing round robin style matches in a tournament to create a new main eventer. The matches generally all ranged from either good to excellent and thanks to the hard work of Alexis Salazar we were able to see all but two of the matches (the long lost Puebla week 2 matches!) on youtube sometimes less than 24 hours after they took place! The singles matches were a refreshing change of pace for CMLL and it all led to an amazing final between Angel De Oro & Polvora. Hopefully CMLL brings this back in 2012. Perhaps even doing one version with youngsters early in the year and one version with veterans late in the year. In fact I wouldn't be opposed to doing the Universal Title tournament using this format since you wouldn't have champions being eliminated from the tournament after a 90 second match.

Drago: The ex-Gato Eveready showed up on the April 27th AAA taping in Pachuca and stole the show! A fantastic gimmick portrayed by an excellent wrestlers who more than deserves a break finally. The gimmick is perfect for AAA and is the type that can be plastered all over posters for years to come ala La Parka or Octagon. Drago stole the show in almost every match he took part in during the year and would have ended the year on a high note if not for an injury angle they ran in July that kept him out a bit and then a legit injury near the end of the year. No doubt 2012 will be the year where he establishes himself as a regular main eventer and continue to steal the show on a nightly basis!

Metal Blanco & Palacio Negro: These two Guadalajara wrestlers actually showed up a few days before 2010 ended but it was throughout 2011 they stole the show in their undercard and midcard matches. Palacio was no surprise... we had been watching him for months in GDL and knew he was amazing. Metal Blanco on the other hand had been around many years and I will admit I wasn't a huge fan. He was very hit-and-miss and seemed to rely on stealing other people's moves in order to get by. Needless to say I was skeptical but man oh man did he shut me up. He looked just as good - IF NOT BETTER - than his tag partner! They showed great teamwork and were always the highlight of any show they were on. Their new roles haven't exactly gotten off to a great start but with these two talented guys under the masks you know it's only a matter of time before they get it together and end up being key parts of CMLL's recovery in 2012.

AAA: I've said it before and I'll say it again - this was my favorite full year of AAA since 2007. From the first taping in Ecatepec until the final taping in Chilpancingo there were only 3 or 4 (out of 30) TV tapings that I can honestly say weren't enjoyable. And even those had a couple of good matches. The new format of starting off with the high flyers really helped improve the overall shows and by mid-year AAA finally figured it out in terms of mixing and matching the wrestlers on the roster to keep the cards fresh. No matter what style you liked AAA was providing it whether it be flying, women, hardcore or watching the big name guys work with foreigners. By the last quarter of the year it seemed every match on a taping had a purpose which is something that I've never been able to say about any promotion in Mexico. I can only hope 2012 is as good as 2011 was!

AAA undercarders: It all started in Toluca on January 27, 2011 when two dudes named Fenix & Dark Dragon made their debuts as surprise wrestlers alongside Atomic Boy, Gato Eveready, Tito Santana & Tigre Cota. Eventually we had Argenis, Relampago, Semental, Mortiz & Daga (Rocco) added to the mix to provide the best undercard talent/matches in all the world. Any time you saw these guys booked together you knew you'd get a good match full of insane highspots and creativity! The icing on the cake is not only were these guys tearing it up but management was actually noticing! By the end of the year Fenix & Dark Dragon were working on the top part of the card! You couldn't have fantasy booked it any better than what actually occured!

IWRG youngsters: From Golden Magic to Dinamic Black to Alan Xtreme to Saruman to Imposible to Comando Negro to Astro De Plata - IWRG loaded up their lineups with some of the best young talent in the world! Every week you'd watch IWRG TV and just be amazed at the progress thanks to the great training of Black Terry, Negro Navarro & Bombero Infernal amongst others. They not only got involved in lots of major storylines in IWRG but also got their own monthly FIL shows which usually had Torneo Cibernetico main events that we got to see courtesy of Black Terry Jr.! Each Torneo was seemingly better than the previous one - full of insane highspots and a great closing angle to set up the next show. It's no wonder IWRG is the favorite promotion of many with talent like these guys on every show!

Mascara Dorada vs Mephisto, Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Virus, Blue Panther vs Negro Casas, Mesias vs L.A. Park, Angel De Oro vs Polvora, La Sombra vs Averno, Dinamic Black vs Carta Brava Jr.: The best of the best when it comes to singles matches in Mexico in 2011. You can't go wrong tracking down any of these matches and being blown away by their greatness!

Volador Jr.: Maybe the most complete wrestler in all of Mexico. He's got a great look (many of them in fact), tons of charisma, can play rudo or tecnico and is an excellent wrestler. He is the complete package. Due to political issues we were robbed of Volador's greatness for much of the early part of the year but around August he started to appear with more regularity and we should be thankful for that b/c he was a MACHINE! From his great feud with Sombra to his memorable confrontations with Rush to the year-end winning (and eventual loss) of the National Trios Titles w/ Olimpico & Psicosis - everything Volador touched this year seemed to turn to gold! He is definitely the #2 crowd favorite in CMLL right now (only behind Mr. Niebla) and heads into 2012 gearing up for a big match vs Sombra in Japan that may lock up the MOTY before we even hit February!

Guerrero Maya Jr. & Escorpion: Maya went from generic midcarder at the start of the year to one of the future faces of the company by year-end! He was seemingly heading nowhere until Forjando un Idolo when he pretty much stole the show in the round robin portion and eventual tie-breaking match against Metal Blanco. Some may say he unofficialy won the tournament as while Angel De Oro won the trophy it was Guerrero Maya who at the end of the year was on par with Angel De Oro in terms of participating in big matches and being the focus of the promotion. Often opposite Maya was ex-AAA rudo Escorpion who was also floundering in undercard matches until Forjando un Idolo. He didn't even escape the round robin portion but still made a name for himself as a rudo and formed a partnership with Ultimo Guerrero which elevated him to member of Los Guerreros Del Infierno. I've always been a fan of Escorpion and was glad to see him take advantage of the opportunity given to him. He is now a regular main eventer in CMLL and probably the hardest working guy in the company.

The emergence of Astral & Electrico: With Tzuki MIA, Mascarita Dorada only showing up once or twice a month and Bam Bam being a lost cause, CMLL was desperately in need of new mini tecnicos. Astral & Electrico took the ball and ran with it! Both had excellent years. Early in the year I said they were the future of mini's in Mexico and I stand by that statement. How great would a Bam Bam rudo turn be now?

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home