Welcome to the CMLL Roundup. Let’s get caught up on the major moments from the past week. There was a new champ, a new exotico, and a celebration for International LGBT Pride Day.
New CMLL World Lightweight Champion
CMLL was having a tournament on the untelevised Sunday shows for the World Lightweight Championship that Dragon Lee vacated after a 1,197 day reign. Lee also holds the CMLL World Welterweight Championship. He said it was getting more difficult to drop weight to defend as a lightweight, so he gave up the title to focus on the welterweight division.
Audaz and Kawato San earned their way to the tournament final. Kawato won Fall 3 to become the new champ.
It is Kawato’s first taste of gold in CMLL. It feels like a surprising choice to me given that Kawato is sort of on chump status in the low-mid matches I’ve seen him in. He’ll get a neat move here and there, but it seems like he was mostly on the losing end in trios action. I guess his career is on the upswing now after paying dues. Congratulations to the Japanese luchador.
It is interesting to note that new referee Tigre Infante now has a black shirt instead of all white. Perhaps he has passed half his training to become certified.
Match of the Week: Triton & Esfinge vs Felino & Tiger for the Arena Coliseo Tag Team Championship
The pick for ‘Match of the Week’ may not necessarily be the best bout, but it will be one I think has value and will be enjoyable if you only consume one CMLL contest from the week’s offerings. This fight took place on June 24 from Puebla. It starts at the at the 46:20 mark of the show.
Triton and Esfinge were the champs, while Felino and Tiger were the challengers. Tiger is Felino’s son. This title belt doesn’t have top prestige, but a championship is a championship. Take a look at these dandy gold prizes.
Remember that both team members must be defeated to count as a fall in best-of-three.
Fall 1 was mostly nifty mat work with luchadores being stretched in various manners. The cat men won the fall. It started when Felino low dropkicked a running Triton then slapped on a pretzel leg submission. Tiger followed up with la casita to pin Esfinge.
Fall 2 got feisty as Tiger blatantly ripped Triton’s mask. Boooo. Bad move since it motivated the champs. They quickly won the fall with a springboard sunset flip pin by Esfinge to Tiger and a flying swanton bomb by Triton to pin Felino.
A chop battle between Triton and Tiger began Fall 3. That led to forearm and high kick exchanges. Triton got payback by ripping Tiger’s mask. Highlights include a double suicide dive by the champs and a tope con hilo by Triton.
Felino was the first to go down in the deciding fall. He was pinned after a springboard crossbody, a backbreaker, a front slam, and a springboard flying splash. Tiger looked to be eliminated next, but he surprisingly kicked out after a double team flying leg drop and flying splash by the champs. Impressive display of intestinal fortitude from Tiger.
Tiger fought hard and eliminated Esfinge when he got fancy. Tiger nailed him with a backcracker off Esfinge’s running handspring into the ropes. Esfinge was pinned.
Down to two. Triton vs Tiger. Triton ran right into a pop-up powerbomb by Tiger. Kick out at two. Mexican Destroyer by Tiger. Kick out at two. Tiger went high-risk for a flying attack, but Triton dropkicked him on the way down. Kick out at two. Triton connected on a 450 splash to win and retain the tag team titles.
After the match, Triton grabbed a mic. Tiger had a championship opportunity. Now, let’s do mask vs mask. Tiger Casas accepted the duel. All they need is a date.
That was a mighty solid bout. Different styles were showcased from grappling to high-flying. It picked up the pace with a heck of a finish. Plus, there were championship stakes to make it feel important.
Spotlight of the Week: Dulce Gardenia
The ‘Spotlight of the Week’ will feature a luchador that isn’t in the main scene. This week’s pick is a new exotico in CMLL. Let’s see what Dulce Gardenia has to offer.
In an interview with Medio Tiempo, Dulce Gardenia explained that the exotico is only a character for him. He has a family with children, yet still hears derogatory terms in the street due to his wrestling persona. Dulce Gardenia joined CMLL in late June 2019 in an effort to replace the exotico void left by Maximo.
Dulce Gardenia squared off against Disturbio as part of the celebration for International LGBT Pride Day. That match occurred on June 28 on Mexico City. It starts at the at the 40:25 mark of the show.
The regular dancing girls were either replaced by a couple of men and some girls with wigs all wearing rainbow wings or that was them in disguise. The referee had braids and a rainbow shirt. Rainbow colors were everywhere.
This bout was a one-fall contest. Dulce Gardenia did a lot of hands on hips posing to rev up the crowd. Disturbio took control after yanking the rope-walking Gardenia into an unfortunate ball-busting tumble on the ropes. Gardenia paid his dues by receiving a splash to the groin by micro Mije. Damn, Disturbio bit Gardenia’s nipple.
Gardenia grabbed the momentum with a whirling backbreaker and a moonsault to the outside. Gardenia had a funny crotch wiggle in a hurricanrana position, but Disturbio promptly powerbombed him.
Gardenia won by kissing Disturbio then catching him in a crucifix pin. Colored smoke emitted from the corners. Gardenia received a trophy as a memento of the special day.
Well, that performance from Dulce Gardenia was rather underwhelming. He got beat up most of the time then won off a kiss. I’ll have to reserve judgement on Gardenia’s skills until I see him in more bouts.
CMLL action in the ring
Let’s go over some storylines and other big matches from the week. The shows from Monday, Tuesday, and Friday can all be viewed on CMLL’s YouTube channel.
Monday from Puebla (Jun. 24, 2019)
Caristico, Volador Jr., & Titan vs Sanson, Cuatrero, & Forastero
This bout (starting at 1:38:50 of the show) was a rematch from the previous week. Los Dinamita came dressed to the nines with frilly cowboy chaps. They rushed the tecnicos before the bell. Fall 1 was scored for the bad guys as Forastero used a fireman’s carry drop slam on Titan to set up a leg scissors arm/shoulder submission and Sanson submitted Caristico with an upside down bear hug.
Fall 2 was dominated by Los Dinamita, but they lost anyway. Titan locked in a pretzel leg submission and Caristico used a whirling armbar to win the fall.
Fall 3 was won by the tecnicos. They had momentum after a double suicide dive from Titan and Caristico. Volador and Sanson were alone in the ring. Sanson blocked a hurricanrana attempt from Volador, then Sanson kicked Volador in the balls. It occurred in clear view fo the referee, so the rudos were disqualified. Sanson argued that his kicked Volador in the thigh, but nobody believed him.
The show for Monday, July 1 was fresh with no storyline set-ups. The main event was Mr. Niebla, El Terrible, & La Bestia del Ring vs Sanson, Cuatrero, & Forastero. There is a solid semi-main on paper in Mistico, Titan, & Soberano Jr. vs Negro Casas, Cavernario, & Felino. The show is currently available for viewing.
Tuesday from Mexico City (Jun. 25, 2019)
There were no storylines, but there was a lightning match. Let’s hit that.
One thing to mention was that Mistico was taken out on a stretcher in the main event. He was the final pin on a super slam off the top turnbuckle. I don’t see any news that he was seriously hurt, so it might have been a work for a feud with Sanson. Mistico did wrestle on July 1. I suppose he is okay.
Lightning Match: Super Astro Jr. vs Halcon Suriano Jr.
These names remind me of the cartoon with Blue Falcon and Dynomutt. Good times. Super Astro Jr. entered to a Star Wars theme song (starting at 47:56 of the show). The first ninety seconds was mat work then it progressed to hurricanranas and sunset flips.
The first big move was a suicide dive by Halcon Suriano Jr. Other highlights include a slingshot back splash by Halcon, a slingshot tope con hilo by Astro to the outside, a springboard moonsault by Halcon to the outside, a regular moonsault by Halcon, and a surprise suicide dive by Astro.
With two minutes to go, Halcon hit a frontcracker and a reverse hurricanrana. Astro kicked out at two. Halcon ran the ropes but was arm-dragged into a figure four arm lock. Halcon was submitted at 8:33 of the ten-minute time limit.
This was a fun little match if you want something quick. Those two were go-go luchador persons.
The show for Tuesday, July 2 appears to have no prior storylines. Caristico, Dragon Lee, & Angel de Oro vs Mr. Niebla, Negro Casas, & Cavernario was the main event. The show is currently available for viewing.
Friday from Mexico City (Jun. 28, 2019)
Beef getting hotter between Ultimo Guerrero and Ciber the Main Man
Fall 1 went to Los Laguneros via disqualification. They bull-rushed the Cl4n and didn’t step off the gas. The Laguneros were setting up their patented running leapfrog attack to Chris, then Ciber came out of nowhere to spear a running Gran Guerrero. Chris got a hold of his kendo stick and whacked his opponents. The referee called for the bell.
The Cl4n dominated Fall 2. They were in total control when Ciber tried to chokeslam Ultimo Guerrero. Guerrero escaped and rolled up Ciber, but Chris and Sharly grabbed the referee’s foot. Ciber tried to kick Guerrero in the cojones. Guerrero blocked it and teed off with his own foot to Ciber’s crotch. The referee was still occupied and missed the nut kick. 1, 2, 3 for Ultimo Guerrero and the overall sweep victory.
Afterward, Ultimo Guerrero micced it up to ask for a one-on-one fight with Ciber. Guerrero will be in France this Friday, but he’ll leave the challenge open for a date of Ciber’s choosing. Ciber talked crap about France, but I couldn’t fully understand him on the mic. I think Ciber accepted. It sounded like a bunch of garbled gibberish.
In a lightning match, Stuka Jr. beat Mephisto. I mention it, because Stuka won in style. He hit a sweet flying splash onto the entrance way then another inside the ring.
In an undercard trios bout, Titan, Triton, & Esfinge defeated Sanson, Cuatrero, & Forastero. After the bout, Esfinge and Titan got on the mic to challenge Los Dinamita for their Mexican National Trios Championships. That rematch for the titles will occur on Friday, July 5. The main event of that show will be Caristico, Volador Jr., & Valiente vs Gilbert El Boricua, El Terrible, & La Bestia del Ring.
It was a busy week for CMLL with a new champ, a new exotico, a tag team title match, and a trios title bout set up for Friday. I’m looking forward to Titan, Triton, & Esfinge versus Sanson, Cuatrero, & Forastero. It should be a doozy.
What’s your first impression of Dulce Gardenia? Who are you predicting to win the Mexican National Trios Championship bout?