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

XMW Primavera Explosiva Review – “The Real Lucha Underground”

XMW March 21, 2015 semi-main. Photo credit: Black Terry Jr.
Photo credit: Black Terry Jr.

Watch: @carxyus (DVD), @BLACKTERRY (some matches)

XMW Primavera Explosiva (Explosive Spring)

March 21, 2015

Gimnasio Gloria – Mexico City, México


Before we start, the subtitle of this article is an actual phrase that Black Terry Jr. uttered to me as we were heading to this show. While there’s some mischief in that comparison, it’s actually not without basis. For one thing, this show was held in the Tepito section of Mexico City, infamous for being a rough area. On top of that, Xtrem Mexican Wrestling (XMW) [yes, spelled that way] has been in and out of trouble with the Mexico City lucha libre commission, which tends to take a hard-line stance against hardcore (lucha extrema) matches. At one point after this show, XMW stopped publicly announcing where exactly its events were held, so as to try to evade the commission’s oversight.

With that said,  XMW, like pretty much every Mexican promotion that prides itself on being “extreme”, doesn’t exclusively book hardcore matches, and these days, many Mexican indie promotions, even those not generally considered hardcore promotions (CaraLucha, Lucha Memes) seem to be approaching a similar moderate proportion of such matches; this show had only one, the main event. The other promoters don’t run into as much trouble because they tend to hold events outside Mexico City proper, beyond the jurisdiction of the strict commission there. I wonder why XMW doesn’t do that more often.

Onto this event itself, I actually got to attend this live. It was a long show (four hours, if I recall correctly) with eight matches, of widely varying quality.

Anuro vs. Draego vs. Smaker vs. Sniper vs. Hahastary vs. Ekuz vs. Centellabelow average
[15:05] This match was billed as a Mexico City vs. Guadalajara vs. Tampico tournament, but these geographic alignments were largely ignored during the match itself, as it was every participant for himself (or herself in the case of Hahastary). Eight participants were originally booked. Seven actually showed up, including Sniper, who wasn’t on the card at all originally; and on top of that, Dollar, the XMW promoter and announcer, seemed to forget to announce Anuro during the entrances. Oops. At least one contemporary report of this show completely ignored the changes in this match, so great going all around on the professionalism front. Or not. I spent more time researching who the actual participants were in this match than actually watching it.

This was structured as an elimination match. Perhaps some of this can be attributed to the late substitutions, but the effort here felt lackluster all-around. Everyone seemed to be merely going through the motions to have a match. There was no big dive train, as would be customary for a big match of this type. The finish was also a little illogical: Sniper held Centella on the mat for Draego, who proceeded to give both some sort of diving move that appeared to be a sloppy variant of a meteora and then pinned them both. This was probably intended to come across as a double-cross on Draego’s part, but it felt more as Sniper being exceedingly dumb in the first place, since Sniper was treated as from Mexico City and Draego is one of the Guadalajara guys.

In absolute terms, this is probably more deserving of an “eh” rating, but for an Mexico indie opener and for a large elimination match, it felt well below standard.

Rayo Star, Core, Chica Yeye vs. Yoruba, Kilvan, Shadoweh
[17:55] This was a pretty standard, unremarkable match for most of the time. The annoying Mexico indie trope of a package piledriver too early reared its head here in a particularly comical way: Rayo Star somehow decided that he should package piledriver his opponent first and then set him up for a Lo Mein Pain. There was a botched pin kickout by Kilvan, where he lifted his shoulder slightly, but visibly, after the referee had counted three. Despite these complaints, there were some good moments, and certainly significantly more effort than in the previous match; Shadow had a nice running tornillo dive. But these guys are capable of much better matches.

After this match, there was a brief homage to Perro Aguayo Jr., who had tragically died less than 24 hours before this show. A visibly emotional Dollar remembered Perro Aguayo Jr. as being an important part of XMW. We’re now more than a year removed from that horrible untimely death, but it can’t be overstated how surreal the atmosphere was in Mexico in the first few days afterwards and how everyone involved in lucha was affected by it.

Disturbio vs. Toxin Boy vs. Mr. Leo vs. Medieval vs. Luzbel vs. Tanque Infernal vs. Magnético vs. Príncipe Diamante vs. Oscurovery good
[16:03] This match was presented as XMW vs. Tepito vs. CMLL, but as in the opener, it was largely everyone for himself. Unlike the opener, though, there was much more substance in this match, which opened with a crazy dive train. There were particularly good sequences here by Príncipe Diamante and Magnético; the former pulled off a nice headscissors into an armdrag, which not many luchadors can do.

Disturbio won by pulling Toxin Boy’s mask behind the ref’s back and rolling him up for the pin. This match was probably at the level at which the opener should have been, and aside from the finish, felt more like an opener in style than the actual opener did. It’s not particularly memorable and tends to be overshadowed by a couple of better matches later on this show, but it’s worth watching. Disturbio’s wife, Princesa Dorada, has a handcam of the match in two parts on her YouTube channel: Part 1, Part 2.

Metaleón vs. Guerrero Míxtico vs. Big Boy vs. Legendariogreat
[12:07] This was a bonus, previously unannounced match. Like many other matches on this card, it was worked under elimination rules. Unofficially, though, it felt more like Guerrero Míxtico vs. Metaleón, with the other two along for the ride.

“Good matwork” and “Guerrero Míxtico” appear together quite frequently in my reviews, and for good reason. Here is no exception; the opening exchange with Metaleón was lots of fun. At one point, Metaleón decided that he was insane and did a one-foot springboard into Aerostar’s blind dormilona dive. I’m not entirely sure whether he intended to do that or whether he under-rotated on a tornillo, but either way, it looked impressive. Also impressive was Guerrero Míxtico’s ability to package-piledrive Big Boy, given the latter’s size. Metaleón and Guerrero Míxtico ended up being the final two in the match, and Metaleón won with a wacky flying headscissors into a backward bridging pin.

Arez, Impulso, Fly Metalik vs. Emperador Azteca, Imposible, Electro Boygood
[12:29] Billed as an XMW vs. IWRG trios match, this was pretty solid overall, but had some awkward moments and was a bit heavy on piledriver variants even by Mexico indie standards, starting with a Volador Spiral by Fly Metalik 30 seconds into the match. Arez defeated Emperador Azteca with a pretty badly executed Phoenix Plex.

Arkángel de la Muerte vs. Tornado vs. Wassongood
[8:53] Virus was originally booked instead of Arkángel de la Muerte. Before the match, Dollar, the XMW promoter, publicly and very unprofessionally threw Virus under the bus for refusing the booking, which is entirely backwards because Virus didn’t have to accept in the first place, and if he never did accept, then the card should never have been published with his name in the first place.

The match itself was solid, if a bit short, and better than I remembered from watching live. Tornado looked the best of the three; one of the more memorable spots here was a springboard into a Lo Mein Pain. Arkángel won by pinning Tornado with an imploding splash.

Valiente, Fly Warrior vs. Hechicero, Belial vs. Skayde, Fly Star vs. Okumura, Centvrióngreat
[22:21] This was originally the main event but was moved down to the semi-main, probably a smart decision because following a hardcore match would have been tough. In the days leading up to this show, there was a public dispute on social media between Valiente and Dollar, regarding supposed nonpayment of the booking fee. I’m not entirely sure whether this nonsense was an actual shoot or a worked shoot to get heat on Valiente; either way, it was in extremely poor taste. I do know that the match almost didn’t happen as announced for a couple of other reasons. I had heard that there was at least one other (actual, definitely not worked) booking issue that ended up being handled privately and professionally. We also learned after the fact that, on his way to the match, Valiente had gotten into a car accident in which one of his daughters was injured (not critically, but nonetheless concerning). He worked the match anyway.

Of the early exchanges, the one with Hechicero and Skayde (!) was easily the best. There were a couple awkward moments in this long match, but the action remained at a pretty high level throughout. Valiente and Okumura contributed the least to the match, but the effect of this imbalance was minimal because everyone else had at least a good night. The best spot was Fly Warrior’s late-match double-springboard armdrag, dropping from the third to the second rope. The difficulty of doing that is off the charts; you could probably count on one hand the number of guys who could consistently pull that off.

Fly Warrior double-springboard armdrag
Fly Warrior double-springboard armdrag

I think that the match was intended to be elimination on a team basis (i.e., a team was supposed to be eliminated when either partner was), but there were four eliminations before the match ended. The ref signaled very clearly that Valiente had submitted Okumura with his Indian Deathlock, but shortly thereafter, Okumura’s partner, Centvrión, was allowed to have a final exchange before Fly Warrior pinned him with a lackluster huracarrana. This was confusing, since all other eliminations were treated as removing both partners from the match. Valiente and Fly Warrior won when Fly Warrior double-stomped Belial for the final pin. Immediately afterward, Valiente made a beeline for the exit, understandable in retrospect given the car accident. This sudden exit may have confused Dollar, who announced the winners as Hechicero and Fly Warrior.

I had the rating on this match originally as “excellent”. I’ve watched this match many times, and perhaps only now am I picking up on little things that, in accumulation, bother me just enough to drop this to “great”. Regardless, it’s still a highly recommended match.

XMW Heavyweight Championship: Fans Bring the Weapons: Demoledor (c) vs. Toxin Boy vs. Tóxicoeh
[11:24] This was originally supposed to be a four-way match among Demoledor, Wotan, Hellspawn, and Tóxico. However, Hellspawn was unable to wrestle due to an injury, for which he apologized, and Wotan wasn’t at the show. The match thus appeared to have been reduced to a singles match when Toxin Boy, who’d be working his second match of the night, came out and demanded to be added to the match, making it a three-way contest.

I’d never seen Demoledor previously, but before the match started, Demoledor bit off part of a broken light tube and then broke another one on his head. He seems like a real winner to me. Biting brittle, thin glass is something that my brother did once when he was an infant; he stopped after that for good reason. Demoledor hadn’t apparently progressed beyond that stage. I’m sorry, but doing that sort of thing doesn’t make you look tough; it makes you look dumb.

Moving on from that topic, there were actually some cool spots not involving light tubes early on, but then we got the inevitable bunch of light tubes being broken over Demoledor’s head. This may explain some things. His valet got involved too at one point, and Toxin Boy proceeded to punish her heavily for that. If you’re not a fan of intergender wrestling, you probably will triply hate this part.

True to the epithet “Fans Bring the Weapons”, Demoledor found a stroller, of all things, in the course of the match and threw it at Toxin Boy. Tóxico eliminated Toxin Boy first with a package piledriver, after which Demoledor retained the title by giving Tóxico a Spanish Fly onto a chair. Even if hardcore matches are your thing, it’s hard to get excited about the finish when the participants already hit peak shock value by breaking a light tube on the nether regions of Demoledor’s valet much earlier. The crowd too had trouble investing itself in this match, possibly because the show itself went very long, and most of the audience had been standing for the entire time, since there are very few actual seats in the venue.

OVERALL: The show started and ended weakly, but there was a lot of good stuff in the middle. There were plenty of WTF moments peppered throughout the show, both in and out of the ring, and Dollar is the epitome of how not to be an effective promoter, but matches 3–7 are worth watching.

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