Current Watch List:
- Pequenos Reyes del Aire (CMLL)
- Soberano & Star Jr. vs. Cholo & Ramstein, mask vs. mask (CMLL)
- Volador Jr. vs. Rey Bucanero (CMLL)
- Jack Swagger vs. Titus O’Neil – Main Event (WWE)
- Jack Swagger vs. Titus O’Neil – Superstars (WWE)
- Goldust & Stardust vs. Los Matadores (WWE)
- Glamour Boy Shane © vs. Alberto El Patron vs. Ricky Banderas for WWL World Heavyweight Championship (WWL)
- La Rabia (Dennis Rivera, Noel Rodriguez & Stefano) (c) vs. Los Mascaras (Dos Caras, El Hijo de Dos Caras & Sicodelico Jr.) for WWL World Trios championship (WWL)
- Mephisto vs Titán, Máscara Dorada, Ephesto, Dragon Lee, Mr. Águila, Rey Cometa, Pierroth, Tritón, Demonio Maya in a cibernetico (CMLL)
Jack Swagger vs. Titus O’Neil (Main Event)
United States & Canada
They worked the fun C-show “this low carder is looking to break out” story line with Titus. Pre-match he delivered a promo about how is a new year and this is the year he is going to breakout. The announcers pushed on commentary how Titus has all the skills and just needs to start putting together some wins, capture a championship, and then the sky will be the limit. I eat that stuff up. It’s like Scott Hudson assigning a high level of importance to a Disorderly Conduct vs. Armstrong Brothers match because of how “everyone in World Championship Wrestling is looking to impress new President Ric Flair” (that exact scenario may or may not have happened, but stuff like it certainly did).
As for the match, it was your standard Main Event main event in that it was a mediocre mid card match that felt a tad better than a similar match from RAW because it was given more room to breathe and the announcers actually paid attention to it. Swagger looked good. I have always been a fan of his offense. I am not quite as sold on Titus, though I know others like him. I think he’s got a good personality, is solid in the ring, and could definitely be pushed higher up the rung than he is now, but I am not sure is ceiling is particularly high.
Titus picked up the win which at least paid off the one-night story line of Titus being a wrestler on the rise in 2015.
Jack Swagger vs. Titus O’Neil (Superstars)
United States & Canada
Swagger had a strong showing in this re-match (that was technically taped first). He laid in a short-arm clothesline nicely, which stood out even more in comparison to Titus’ weak delivery of the same move later in the match. Swagger’s intensity can range from put-on to effective. He hit the former note in this match. Good reversals from Swagger as well. He has probably a lost cause at this point, but as the Rusev series and matches like this show, he could make for a fine low mid-carder that consistently delivers in 1st or 2nd matches on major cards. For the 2nd match in the row, Titus did nothing for me. The above mentioned clothesline was rather bad and really brought nothing to the table that a dozen other WWE guys couldn’t. The match overall was slightly below average, but Swagger had a strong showing.
Goldust & Stardust vs. Los Matadores (Superstars)
United States & Canada
Heel or face, it doesn’t matter – Dustin Rhodes is a great tag worker. I didn’t catch a ton of the Goldust/Stadust tandem after they went heel. Dustin has the same sense of timing on cutoffs as a heel as he did for comeback while working face. The sequence where Los Matadores twice dodged a Stadust attack (Ole!) that ended with them faking a dual dive was fun. Big fan of heels kicking the ropes and attacking out in frustration after being outsmarted. Goldust’s angry pout was Arn Anderson like. Stadust kicking the steps out of anger was even better. C-show matches should never take themselves too seriously. This one didn’t and was the best C-show effort of the week.
Pequenos Reyes del Aire
January 2014’s minis cibernetico was 20+ minutes of pure fun and awesome flying, that I liked enough to include on my Top 20 Favorite CMLL matches of the year. I think this one was even better largely because the big spots were just a tad bit bigger. Astral nearly killed himself on a tope to nowhere. Well, not exactly nowhere. His head managed to find the barricade just fine. He was stretchered out in which seemed like his pre-determined elimination so hopefully he is okay. There was also an awesome triple dive (double Asai moonsaults sandwhiching a straight tope). I don’t recall their being a dive sequence that excellent in last year’s Pequenos Reyes del Aire.
This compliment might ring hollow given the lack of quality true minis in both CMLL and AAA but Shockercito is almost certainly the best of that group. He does his usual spinning head scissors in this match but seemed to add two or three rotations to what he usually pulls off. Just ridiculous. There was almost nothing blown in this save for Demus 3:16 blowing the catch on a tope rope to the floor rana by Shockercito. Otherwise, it was more or less smooth sailing, quick minis action. More than enough fun arm drags to go around plus the already mentioned big dives make this a match to watch.
Rey Bucanero vs. Volador Jr.
Volador Jr. spent much of the second half of 2014 not doing anything of much importance. At the same time, he was churning out a lot of quality performances. After some concern post-mask loss that he was missing something something, Volador quietly rediscovered his groove throughout 2014. He looked good against Bucanero with sharp, well-timed flying. He’s also found himself as a tecnico. He comes off far more comfortable in that role than he did in the immediate aftermath of his mask loss in 2013. Bucanero worked hard but hard work is only going to take 2015 Rey Bucanero so far. First fall was fine due to some good brawling by Bucanero and Volador’s offense. Second fall was nothing at all. Third ball had his moments – largely Volador’s offense (which to be fair, Bucanero was a good base for) – but again wasn’t anything special. CMLL mano a mano matches tend to be forgettable and I don’t think there was an exception here.
Glamour Boy Shane © vs. Alberto El Patron vs. Ricky Banderas
WWL World Heavyweight
A lot of promos and angles before the match that ends up with Monster Pain being named as the special ringside enforcer. Alberto was not necessarily lazing it in this match but he was sort of on cruise control. Banderas looked the best of the three. He worked hard and kept it together. The match had the usual 3-way problems. Those problems can be overcome but not within Alberto along for the ride and probably not in any match involving Shane. Shane was rather awful and added nothing to the match. The saving grace was that the match was kept relatively short. Alberto’s victory got a big pop.
La Rabia (Dennis Rivera, Noel Rodriguez & Stefano) (c) vs. Los Mascaras (Dos Caras, El Hijo de Dos Caras & Sicodelico Jr.)
WWL World Trios
It threw me off to see the Dos Caras team working as rudos. I guess I just assumed that since Alberto was used as a fan favorite (for some reason, his match proceeded this) and Dos Caras is a bit of a legend that they would be used that way, but I guess not. I also tend to figure “three guys in black t-shirts and camo shorts” are usually heels but something is probably lost in translation. Hijo de Dos Caras looked totally unremarkable in IWRG but in this setting, he was clearly the best guy in the match. Dos Caras looked like one would expect – old and competent (I hope that’s how I want people to describe me when I am older). Sicodelico Jr. was not so good. The champions were fine but not totally nondescript. Actually, that’s a good way to describe the match as a whole.
Ramstein & Cholo vs. Soberano Jr. & Star Jr.
Masks vs. Masks
I had heard this was a bit of a mess so I braced myself for the worst and maybe that’s why it didn’t seem so bad. Ramstein was as poor, unprofessional, or however you want to characterize it as advertised but he didn’t necessarily ruin the match. The young guys looked good, Cholo worked hard and the third fall had good heat, so not all was lost.
As is typical in CMLL matches involving young guys versus veterans, there was a lot of talk on commentary about “juventud y experienca” (“youth and experience”) which made it all the more curious when the supposed veteran team of Ramstein & Cholo carelessly drew a disqualification in the very first fall. It also threw the match into an odd tilt, Ramstein and Cholo were in control right before the DQ, the tecnicos got their revenge to open up the second fall, but then it was the rudo team that made the late 2nd fall comeback to tie up the score. It sort of threw everything off a bit. A lot of times in those situations the DQ in the first fall leads to a quick win in the 2nd for the rudos, but not this time.
The third fall had its bright spots (dives by Soberano & Star Jr, Cholo in general) and its dark spots (Ramstein) but as mentioned, drew good heat. The young tecnicos winning their first masks got a nice reaction. The match was disappointing in that I always look forward to a mask match and this was far from a great one. At the same time, didn’t think it was the mess I had built it up in my head as after hearing initial reactions. I would say an average-ish match with the added stakes & heat of the masks being on the line pushing it up a level.
Mephisto vs Titán, Máscara Dorada, Ephesto, Dragon Lee, Mr. Águila, Rey Cometa, Pierroth, Tritón, Demonio Maya
While the mini’s were having their usual fun cibernetico in Mexico City, this cibernetico happening Guadalajara was . . . well . . . not as good. Considering the wrestlers in the match, this should have been at least good if nor significantly better. Titsan, Dorada, and Dragon Lee are all in the top tier or two of CMLL wrestlers with Mephisto and Rey Cometa a step behind. This should have been better than it was. Some okay dives, but even those weren’t what you would ideally hope for from a CMLL cibernetico. Not much flow and nothing that at all felt inspired. Skippable.