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CMLL Grand Prix 2018 Preview: Mexico vs The World

The fourteenth edition of CMLL’s Grand Prix will take place tonight, Friday, October 5 at 8:30pm CT. Let’s take a closer look at this special attraction.


The Grand Prix is an elimination-style tag team match. This year’s version will have 18 participants, 9 vs 9. Imagine a traditional Survivor Series bout, except with one major wrinkle. There is a batting order element to the tags. If a winning team has two remaining luchadores, then they will duke it out to see who is the lone winner.

Grand Prix 2017

The match was a blast to watch. Tons of fast-paced action. I didn’t fully comprehend the batting order gimmick until I saw it play out. The next man up for a tag stands on the apron, while all the rest hang out on the floor. However, I don’t think they always followed the order after the first time through.

Check out the highlight video, which also provides a taste of the pomp and pageantry with a military band and trophy celebration.

Here is the elimination order:

1. Johnny Idol by Dragon Lee
2. Sam Adonis by Volador Jr.
3. Euforia by Kenny King
4. Mephisto by Matt Taven
5. Marco Corleone by Rush
6. Dragon Lee by Juice Robinson
7. Kenny King by El Valiente
8. Rush by DQ (pushing the referee)
9. Matt Taven by Ultimo Guerrero
10. El Valiente by Satoshi Kojima
11. Juice Robinson by Volador Jr.
12. Volador Jr. by Michael Elgin
13. Satoshi Kojima by Ultimo Guerrero
14. Ultimo Guerrero by Michael Elgin
15. Michael Elgin by Diamante Azul
Winner: Diamante Azul

The Grand Prix was fairly even in eliminations. No one team ever had stacked odds, nor was there a dominant force with tons of pins. Everyone looked good and had exciting moments. I would say the show-stealer was Volador Jr. He made an impression and left me wanting more.

Grand Prix 2018

Let’s look at this year’s squads.

Team Mexico

  • El Cuatrero
  • Diamante Azul
  • Sanson
  • Ultimo Guerrero
  • Caristico (fka the original Sin Cara)
  • Euforia
  • Hechicero
  • El Terrible
  • Volador Jr.

There are three former winners in the mix; Ultimo Guerrero (2006, 2007), Volador Jr. (2016), Diamante Azul (2017). It is notable that Ultimo Guerrero won in back to back years, so a repeat by Diamante Azul is not out of the question this year.

There are seven current champions. I’m not sure how impressive that is with the high number of titles available in CMLL. Ultimo Guerrero is one-third of the CMLL World Trios champions. Caristico is the NWA World Historic Middleweight Champion. Volador Jr. is the NWA World Historic Welterweight Champion. El Terrible is the Mexican National Heavyweight champion and also one-half of the CMLL World Tag Team champions. El Cuatrero, Forastero and Sanson are the Mexican National Trios champions. El Cuatrero is also the CMLL World Middleweight champion.

Team Resto del Mundo

  • Matt Taven (USA)
  • Jay Briscoe (USA)
  • Mark Briscoe (USA)
  • Dark Magic (USA)
  • Michael Elgin (Canada)
  • David Finlay (Germany, son of Fit Finlay)
  • Gilbert el Boricua (Puerto Rico, aka Mil Muertes, El Mesias, Ricky Banderas)
  • Flip Gordon (USA)
  • Okumura (Japan)

Most of these are only names to me. I’ve heard of all from reading Cageside Seats, but Gilbert was the only one I’d seen wrestle before last week. I’m most excited to see the Briscoes. Their zany, peculiar promos always caught my attention. I realize they are probably past their prime, but the mix of styles into lucha libre should be interesting.

If you were curious, it is not unheard of for a foreigner to win the Grand Prix on Mexico’s home turf. Of the previous thirteen tournaments, there have been three outsider wins. Headhunter A in 1995 was the first to accomplish the feat, followed by Steel (aka Val Venus) in 1997, and Alex Shelley in 2008.

In the press conference, I learned that Gilbert is pronounced Jill-bert. Also, they say the x in prix. It makes me hungry for Twix.

Michael Elgin had a solid babyface reply to a question about wanting revenge against Diamante Azul. He answered, “If you speak of revenge, you speak of hate and you speak of anger. Last year, Diamante Azul proved he was better than me. So, it’s not about revenge. It’s just about going out there and proving that within a year’s time, I’m now better than him.”

Who is Dark Magic? “Dark Magic is a very handsome gentleman. Just as important, Dark Magic is the best wrestler in the world.” I could see Dark Magic sticking around for awhile if he has the chops in the ring. The host and crowd seemed to enjoy his deep voice.


It feels like Michael Elgin is being set up as the favorite. They have promoted him hard during the telecasts. Elgin has also been teaming with tecnicos for his warmup matches.

On the Mexican side, I’m looking at Volador Jr. and Caristico. My extensive knowledge of CMLL is all of two weeks, so take my opinion for what it’s worth. Not much.

As for my pick, ride with Gilbert el Boricua. He is one of my favorite professional wrestlers in all the land as Mil Muertes in Lucha Underground. Even though Gilbert is not on Team Mexico, he received a rowdy reception during the press conference. I’d like to see Gilbert vs Elgin as the final two after Team Resto del Mundo eliminates all of Team Mexico.

Undercard Matches

The Grand Prix is not the only contest on the card. Other fights include:

  • Barbaro Cavernario, Ciber the Main Man, & The Chris vs Hijo de LA Park, LA Park, & Mistico
  • Lightning Match: El Valiente vs Gran Guerrero
  • Avispa Dorada, La Jarochita, & Marcela vs Dalys, Metalica, & Reyna Isis
  • Akuma, Camorra, & Star Jr. vs Hijo del Signo, Robin, & Yago

I’ve got my eye on the lighting match. It should be beefy. I also want to see Dalys again. I was thoroughly impressed the first time I watched her wrestle.

How to Watch

To borrow from the always informative Sermon on the Mat, “This one is available both on iPPV through InternetTV, and at no additional cost through membership with HonorClub.” The InternetTV price is 100 pesos in Mexico and $10 USD outside.

If you happen to be reading this from Mexico City and have children, you are in luck. Kids under the age of 10 and shorter than 1.30 meters are eligible for tickets at a price of only 10 pesos. Sorry to any tall string beans out there. Get the details and conditions here.

Who are you predicting to take home the Grand Prix 2018 trophy? Which wrestlers are you looking forward to most? Feel free to hang out in the comments and chat it up live during the event. Until then, enjoy these two photos. Click the arrow to see the second bus shot.

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