Looking Back Lucha Libre WWW Review Archive (December 2015-July 2017)

CaraLucha 1/31/15 Review: CMLL vs. Indies

Photo credit: Black Terry Jr.

Continuing the series of reviewing Mexico indie shows, I take a look at CaraLucha’s second show of 2015, which had a theme of CMLL vs. indies.

Where to find this show: @carxyus has this available as a 2-DVD set that includes some backstage post-match promos. @BLACKTERRY also has all but the opener and semi-main from this show available for purchase as HD video files. There are some handcams available on YouTube, but they’re clipped.

Tribal Kid vs. Toro Negro Jr.ok
[13:20] Tribal Kid looked really impressive at times here, pulling off a handful of extremely tricky spots. Unfortunately, this is a match best viewed in GIF form. This match takes a little bit to get going and has some pacing inconsistency throughout; I get the impression that Toro Negro Jr. is far better at basing than structuring matches. The match also falls victim to a couple annoying tropes: the package piledriver that comes too early in the match (with about two minutes left!), and the inexperienced guy who can’t pin correctly (Tribal Kid lifts up Toro Negro Jr.’s head to make a schoolboy pin!). I’m as much of a spotfest guy as any, and I really want to give this a higher rating for all of Tribal Kid’s wacky rope tricks, but I really don’t feel justified in doing so.

Tribal Kid rope trick
Tribal Kid doing wacky rope-trick stuff
Belial, Arez, Impulso vs. Guerrero Míxtico, Danger, Andy Boyok
[19:15] This match has its good moments, but also its share of botches and ended up being a bit disappointing given who was in it. This is another match that looks better in GIFs. Highlights included the good matwork between Belial and Guerrero Míxtico to start, and the big IndyStrongTibles spots (the Impulso splash and Arez’s ringpost headscissors). Less outstanding were the Neza Kings’ botched assisted dropkick spot and Arez’s botched headstand Arabian press moonsault toward the end. I could see going higher with the rating, but this match feels way too flawed.

Mike Segura, Freelance vs. Pierrothito, Demus 3:16ok
[12:00] From this point onward in the card, the matches were set up with a theme of CMLL vs. indies. However, concurrently, the theme with the first half of this show seems to be “fun moments but not so great matches”, and this match unfortunately continues that streak. The aspect that took me out of this match most were the intermittent timing/communication issues, especially with Demus. There were some fun dive moments toward the end, but as an overall match, it left a lot to be desired. The finish for this one was Demus earning himself a DQ for interfering after having been eliminated. That finish can be anticlimactic in some contexts. but we didn’t really have a compelling match before that point, either.

Negro Navarro, Trauma I, Trauma II vs. Magnífico II, Último Guerrero, Hechicero (2/3 falls)great
[13:55, 4:45, 2:54] The show really starts to pick up at this point. This match was originally billed as the main event, but was moved down in the card. Magnífico II was also a late substitution for Máximo on the CMLL team.

This was a great mat-based match, especially during the really long first fall. Magnífico II is regarded more as a flyer, but was able to hang in there during the matwork. Aside from a couple of less-than-smooth moments with Hechicero and Negro Navarro and what felt like a rushed third fall, there aren’t really any obvious flaws with this match, and I could be convinced to go higher on the rating. This is highly recommended if you like matwork-based matches.

Star Fire, Diosa Atanea vs. Estrellita, Zeuxisgood
[9:58] I wasn’t expecting too much out of this match, but the four put on a good, if unremarkable, performance, certainly better than any match in the first half of the show. This was originally the fourth match on the card, but was moved up to the semi-main. The main story presented here is that, by the end of the match, Estrellita and Zeuxis had issues with each other but still managed to win. This sort of angle has the potential to drag out a match, but fortunately it wasn’t too protracted here.

Sadly, the crowd seemed to be support Estrellita more than they did Zeuxis. 🙁

Flamita, Aero Boy vs. Dragon Lee, The Panthergreat
[16:45] It should perhaps be noted that, at either 26 or 27 (we don’t know his exact birthdate), The Panther was the old man of this bunch; at the time of this match, the others were 24, 20, and 19.

Dragon Lee and Flamita sequence
Dragon Lee and Flamita doing Dragon Lee and Flamita things

This match took a little bit to reach full speed but was great from then on. Specifically, there was an amazing sequence with Flamita and Dragon Lee near the start, after which the match seemed to lose momentum for a few minutes before the pace kicked back up. There were lots of great sequences and counters, with a theme one of constantly trying to outsmart the opponents, as exemplified in the GIF above: the first leg sweep didn’t work, so let’s try again when Flamita is less expecting it, on the apron. In retrospect, that theme of outsmarting and staying one step ahead of the opponent would go on to underlie the Dragon Lee vs. Kamaitachi feud.

To date, this is the only time that Flamita and Dragon Lee have been in the same match; a singles match is desperately needed. Post-match promos seemed to center on a tag rematch and on challenges for one of Aero Boy’s championships, though.

OVERALL: The second half of the show is worth watching, especially the fourth match and the main event. The first half has its moments and would look absolutely great in highlight form, but all of the first-half matches have obvious flaws.

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