Watch: @carxyus (DVD), @BLACKTERRY (some matches)
Arena San Juan Pantitlán – Nezahualcoytl, Estado de México, Mexico
Aramis vs. Flyergood
As background, this match was Aramis’s reward for finishing as the runner-up in CaraLucha’s Bestiario I tournament. Even though he’s a técnico in his home promotion, Flyer embraces his heel role here, as the hated CMLL guy: During brawling outside the ring, he throws various objects at Aramis, and later blocks an Aramis tope suicida with a piece of wood, earning himself “culero” chants from the crowd. Somewhat strangely, both guys seem displeased with the speed of the ref’s pin counting during this match. Uh, welcome to Mexico, I guess? It’s not a particularly slow count compared to anything that they would be used to, so it’s a little bizarre for them (Aramis especially, as the supposed indie crowd favorite) to be making a big deal out of it.
Flyer wins with an avalanche Canadian Destroyer after having tried two successive Canadian Destroyers earlier in the match. Afterward, he beats Aramis down, unmasks him, and dismissively tosses the mask into the crowd. (The crowd returns the mask to Aramis after Flyer leaves.)
This is a good match, but I’ve seen better from both of these guys. Flyer definitely works this match differently and probably deliberately avoids showing too much of his offense in order to avoid outshining Aramis, but at the same time, three Canadian Destroyers in a match is a bit much.
Flyer def. Aramis via pinfall in 14:30.
Fly Star, Toxin, Rayo Star, Sky Man vs. Leo, Mike, Rafy, Teelogreat+
This match features a strange partnership between the Sky Stars and Kriminal Boys, to defend CaraLucha against the invading Tortugas Ninjas from Naucalpan. In a sense, this feels a bit like the invasion angles that AAA and CMLL have done for years, except that the Tortugas aren’t rudos and are much more exciting than the invaders in the big two promotions. (In other words, it’s just an excuse to get an atómicos match with the smaller factions vs. the Tortugas.) Very unusually for CaraLucha, captains are announced for this match: Fly Star and Leo.
This only goes about 10 minutes, but the pace is so fast that it feels significantly longer than that. It’s pretty crazy when a Rayo Star dragonrana is one of the more “ordinary” highspots in a match. One of the more creative spots consists of Toxin putting Teelo into a leglock, catching an attempted kick by Leo and suplexing him into a bridging pin, while still maintaining the submission hold on Teelo. (Rafy breaks this up with a double stomp.) Mike, who had been prone to comedy in some earlier matches, apparently decides that he’s a power guy this time and catches an attempted pescado dive by Fly Star and instead slams him to the arena floor.
Not everything goes smoothly in this match: Sky Man’s attempted around-the-ringpost headscissors on Mike goes awry. But aside from that, this is a crazy match with lots of generally well executed insanity. The makeshift CaraLucha team wins when Fly Star and Rayo Star give Rafy and Leo successive Spanish Flies (the original two-man version, something of a rarity nowadays).
This match is destined to fly under the radar, overshadowed by the Flamita/Volador main event, but nonetheless is a great multi-man. It’s not quite at the level of the Tortugas’ CaraLucha debut on the March 7 show, but it’s definitely worth seeking out.
Fly Star def. Leo via pinfall in 10:02.
Wasson, Toro Negro Jr., Flama Roja vs. Andy Boy, Danger, Guerrero Míxticovery good
Before Viral (the CaraLucha promoter) can officially announce the start of the first fall, Wasson and Flama Roja hit tope suicidas, and Toro Negro Jr. adds a cool rope-step tope con giro. Back in the ring, Wasson hurls himself into Danger with a shooting star flying headbutt (for lack of a more precise term) to win fall 1 for his team. Fall 2 is almost just as short: Danger submits Wasson with an armbar variant after a triple tope by the Neza Kings. The first two falls last 61 seconds combined.
The third fall is more substantive. For a while, it’s solid but not outstanding. At one point, the other Neza Kings leave the ring and try to get a reluctant Andy Boy to face his opponents. It turns out that this is a stalling tactic so that Toro Negro Jr. can climb the Arena San Juan stairs and bring a member of the Legion X fan group back to the ring to be chopped and whacked with a whip for some reason. Only in Mexico.
The match finally picks up again when the action proper restarts. Andy Boy throws Toro Negro Jr. into a handspring against the ropes and falls to the mat, expecting Toro Negro Jr. to flip over him, but in a creative twist on the usual sequence, Toro Negro Jr. eschews the usual continuation in favor of giving Andy Boy a plancha. Shortly thereafter, Guerrero Míxtico trade double springboard armdrags before we get a crazy dive train, culminating in a Brillo Cometa by Guerrero Míxrico and a balcony dive by Flama Roja. A crazy huracarrana variant by Guerrero Míxtico on Toro Negro Jr. secures the win for the Neza Kings, who beat down Wasson after the match, taking off his boots in the process.
You can skip the first half or so of the third fall, but the last few minutes of the match are as good as you could hope for in a trios match. The quality is uneven, but I’m calling this one “very good” on the basis of the strong finish.
Neza Kings def. Dinastía Flama and Wasson 2 falls to 1 (falls 2/3) in 0:20, 0:41, 16:21.
Trauma I, Trauma II vs. Terrible, Misterioso Jr.ok
In keeping with his Comando Boricua gimmick, Misterioso Jr. (badly) sings the Puerto Rican anthem before the match starts. As for the match itself, this is a fairly unexciting brawl until it spreads into the audience and beyond (including the concession stand) and thus becomes a bit more interesting. Once the match returns to the ring, Trauma I and Terrible have a weird exchange in which Trauma I rolls into Terrible while he’s running the ropes. Terrible ends up pinning Trauma I after a lariat. Trauma II rolls up Terrible when Misterioso Jr. turns around and prematurely celebrates (one of his tendencies in CMLL). When Trauma II subsequently tries to pin Misterioso, Terrible interrupts Rafa el Maya’s count by pulling him out of the ring. This strategy backfires when Trauma II takes advantage of the temporary lack of a referee by pulling Misterioso’s mask and rolling him up. Trauma I helps Rafa el Maya back into the ring for a quick three count.
This is not an exciting CMLL crew (Misterioso Jr. especially) to bring in for this match, and feels like a waste of the Traumas after their interesting CaraLucha matches against the Ingobernables. This is easily the weakest match on the show. As a side note, surprisingly for an indie venue, fan support is divided in this match.
Traumas def. Terrible and Misterioso Jr. via pinfall in 11:49.
Flamita vs. Volador Jr.excellent
At the CaraLucha Anniversary two weeks prior, Volador Jr. had pinned Flamita in the main event tag to set up this singles rematch.
We start with fast sequences before action heads outside the ring, where Volador Jr. traps Flamita’s leg in a chair and smashes another chair on it for good measure. Volador Jr. continues working Flamita’s leg once back in the ring, thus slowing the match pace a bit. Flamita regains control with a handspring back elbow, but slips while attempting a tope con giro, and takes a spill to floor. He recovers, though, and hits an Asai moonsault.
This actually turns out to be the turning point of the match, because once back into the ring, we get Flamita’s trademark escalation of move counters that puts this match into the upper tier of 2015. One of the wackier counters comes when Flamita just blocks Volador’s corner superkick by catching Volador’s leg and working his way out of the corner while holding it.
The superkick battle continues throughout most of the match, but usually in novel ways: at one point Volador counters Flamita’s now-trademark discus forearm with a superkick. There are plenty of other big moves, but the story of this match is not so much about trading those moves until someone’s repertoire runs dry; it’s about withstanding a barrage of them in a single sequence. Flamita eventually wins with the Flama Fly, a surprising result at the time, since CMLL guys rarely lose indies singles matches cleanly.
In post-match promos, Volador puts over Flamita and he’d accept whatever Flamita asks of him. Flamita says that he’s not interested in challenging Volador for his NWA Welterwright Championship, because if he were to win it from him, they’d run Volador out of Arena México. Volador proposes an impromptu one-fall match for his UIPW belt. Rafa el Maya does not agree to this, but Flamita and Volador exchange blows anyway, until Volador unmasks Flamita and gives his mask the finger.
Result: Flamita def. Volador Jr. via pinfall in 21:19.
CARALUCHA JUNE 14, 2015
Excellent - 8.5/10
This is a very strong show that I now regret not attending live, even though it would have meant returning to Mexico a mere two weeks after the previous trip to see the CaraLucha Anniversary. Flamita vs. Volador is the one match that everyone (rightfully) remembers (and if for some reason you haven't seen it yet, you should!), but the undercard delivers as well. In particular, the CaraLucha/Tortugas segunda is a wild atómicos match that pretty much tests just how much craziness fits into 10 minutes.