Welcome to the CMLL Roundup. Let’s get caught up on major moments from this week. Time to jump right into Phase 2 of CMLL’s Torneo Gran Alternativa.
Torneo Gran Alternativa, Phase 2
CMLL’s Gran Alternativa tournament, with veterans teaming with up-and-comers, carried on Friday night (starting at 1:08:00). The winner of Phase 2 will wrestle the winners of Phase 1, Mistico & Fugaz, in the grand finale. The eight teams for Phase 2 were:
- Titan & Superastro Jr.
- Negro Casas & Yago
- Angel de Oro & Sonic
- Cavernario & Espanto Jr.
- El Valiente & Star Jr.
- Gran Guerrero & Furia Roja
- Niebla Roja & Magia Blanca
- Euforia & Akuma
A battle royal to determine the matchups kicked off the festivities. The order of elimination was:
1. Sonic thrown out by Espanto Jr.
2. Espanto Jr. dumped by Magia Blanca.
3. Yago dumped by Star Jr.
4. Superastro Jr. tossed out by Akuma.
5. Magia Blanca knocked off the apron by Star Jr.
6. Furia Roja dropkicked off the apron by Star Jr.
7. & 8. Star Jr. and Akuma were the survivors. Their teams will wrestle each other.
The Phase 2 bracket was set.
Let’s get to the tournament matches. The bouts are one fall and both luchadores on a team must be defeated to win.
Angel de Oro & Sonic vs Cavernario & Espanto Jr.
The move of the match was from Angel de Oro with an outside-in slingshot onto the ropes for a springboard moonsault. For the finish, Espanto pinned Angel after a frontcracker and a backcracker, and Sonic was pinned by Cavernario after a powerbomb by Espanto and a springboard splash by Cavernario. Cavernario and Espanto Jr. advance.
Negro Casas & Yago vs Titan & Superastro Jr.
The move of the match was Yago lifting both his opponents front and back for a double knee breaker.
For the finish, Titan pinned Yago on a springboard flying double stomp, and Superastro pinned Negro Casas on a springboard twisting crossbody. Titan and Superastro Jr. advance.
Niebla Roja & Magia Blanca vs Gran Guerrero & Furia Roja
This bout had a non-standard finish. Furia Roja pinned Niebla Roja off a flying splash. Gran Guerrero tried to finish the job with a chokeslam to Magia Blanca, but Magia Blanca kicked out. Magia would end up pinning Guerrero on an over the back roll-up. Furia Roja reigned supreme when he caught a bodyscissors from Magia and crushed him on a piledriver slam.
Impressive performance by Furia. Gran Guerrero and Furia Roja advance.
El Valiente & Star Jr. vs Euforia & Akuma
This match was a quick one. Euforia was pinned by Valiente via roll-up when Valiente peeled Euforia off of Star Jr. Akuma pinned Valiente via double underhook piledriver. Star Jr. took it home for his team by pinning Akuma via fancy rana roll-up. El Valiente and Star Jr advance.
Semifinal: Titan & Superastro Jr. vs Cavernario & Espanto Jr.
The spot of the bout was high-flying deluxe. Titan did a suicide dive and Superastro did a flying crossbody down to the floor. The rudos responded with flying splashes on the floor. The rudos finished with double surfboard submissions to win. Cavernario and Espanto Jr. advance.
Semifinal: El Valiente & Star Jr. vs Gran Guerrero & Furia Roja
This was the best match so far. The rudos ambushed the tecnicos and pounded them to start the bout. Valiente and Star Jr. turned the tide with a suicide dive and a springboard flipping tope respectively. Gran Guerrero showed intestinal fortitude by kicking out after a backcracker and a springboard flying elbow drop from Star. Furia Roja took over with big slams. The tecnicos reversed Irish whips to send the rudos crashing into each other. A double leg split submission followed from the tecnicos. The rudos escaped, but it wouldn’t be their night. Furia Roja got trapped in a armbreaker submission by Valiente, and Euforia was rolled up into an arm submission by Star. El Valiente and Star Jr. advance.
Final: El Valiente & Star Jr. vs Cavernario & Espanto Jr.
The rudos had the rest advantage and it showed early. They controlled the pace against Valiente and Star. The tecnicos would fire back with a springboard moonsault by Valiente to the outside and a suicide dive by Star. Back in the ring, Cavernario took a big monkey flip from Valiente and a springboard frog splash from Star. Espanto broke the pin count in the nick of time to save Cavernario.
Cavernario attacked Star with a flying crossbody to floor. Espanto pinned Valiente after a backcracker. Star was ripe for the picking after being thrown into a wall. Espanto was setting up leg action when Star rolled him up for the three count.
It was down to Cavernario and Star. Cavernario was in control with a flying missile dropkick, a Razor’s Edge into the corner, a hammerlock suplex, and a running springboard splash, but Star kept kicking out on each cover. Cavernario grabbed Star’s leg, then Star snatched the caveman for a surprise roll up to win.
Phase 2 winners: El Valiente & Star Jr.
El Valiente and Star Jr. move on to the Torneo Gran Alternativa finale against Mistico and Fugaz. It will probably take place on Friday, October 18. The final has to be a pick ‘em. Mistico would be a good choice to build momentum, but this tournament isn’t about his career. It is for the youngsters to get a stepping stone to break through. In that regard, I’d lean slightly toward Star Jr. over Fugaz. No matter who wins, it should be an entertaining finale.
Phase 2 was a solid hour of tournament tag team action. Out of the up-and-comers involved, Furia Roja stuck out the most in my eyes. He executed a nice variety of powerful slams and counters into slams.
CMLL action in the ring
Let’s go over other storylines and big matches from the week. The shows from Monday, Tuesday, and Friday can all be viewed on CMLL’s YouTube channel.
Sunday from Mexico City (Oct. 6, 2019)
Sunday’s show featured a title match in the feud between Soberano and Templario for the Mexican National Welterweight Championship. This bout is not available on CMLL’s YouTube channel.
For the finish in the deciding fall, Templario trapped Soberano in a surfboard submission, but Soberano rocked back to force both luchadors’ shoulders on the mat. The referee made the three count as the contest ended in a double pin draw. Soberano retained his championship. His reign is currently at 881 days and counting.
The rivalry is not over. In a backstage promo, Soberano had a message for Templario to tell him if he wants another title opportunity or if he wants to go directly to mask vs mask.
Monday from Puebla (Oct. 7, 2019)
The main event of Monday’s show was Mistico vs Ultimo Guerrero (starting at 1:50:12). Mistico came out first, and Guerrero immediately ambushed him from behind on the entrance ramp. Mistico was punished from pillar to post, but he managed to win Fall 1 on a surprise up and over sunset flip pin. Mistico maintained momentum in Fall 2 with a springboard flying crossbody and a tope con hilo, however, Guerrero would lock in an octopus submission a short while later to even the score.
Fall 3 was back and forth with numerous quick pin attempts. It escalated from normal moves to signature maneuvers to finishers. In the end, Mistico went for a second straight super hurricanrana. The first was springboard style. The second was on Guerrero’s shoulders. Guerrero blocked for a super powerbomb setup, but Mistico countered into the super hurricanrana. 1, 2, Guerrero kicked out. I thought for sure that was the finish. Mistico wasted no time in applying his whirling armbar to win.
In the trios semi-main Negro Casas, Euforia, & Gran Guerrero defeated Diamante Azul, Angel de Oro, & Niebla Roja. Guerrero pinned Niebla on a sitdown package powerbomb in the deciding fall. Afterward, Guerrero challenged Niebla for his CMLL World Light Heavyweight Championship. Niebla accepted. I had no clue Niebla Roja was a champion. His reign stands at 852 days and counting. That singles bout will be the main event for Monday, October 14.
Tuesday from Mexico City (Oct. 8, 2019)
The main event of Tuesday’s show was Caristico versus Forastero (starting at 1:51:31). Forastero attacked during the introductions, but Caristico won Fall 1 rather quickly with a low dropkick to transition into la casita pin. Fall 2 was speedy as well. Forastero won with an overhead arm lock after Caristico missed a springboard flying crossbody. Fall 3 had mask ripping and big moves of a tope con hilo by Caristico, a suicide dive by Forastero, and an exchange of swantons. Caristico prevailed with a whirling armbar to take the contest.
The main event for Tuesday, October 15 will be Angel de Oro, Niebla Roja, & Stuka Jr. against Negro Casas, El Terrible, & Mephisto.
Friday from Mexico City (Oct. 11, 2019)
In the trios main event of Friday’s show, Caristico, Volador Jr., and Mistico faced off against Ultimo Guerrero, Sanson, and Cuatrero. Mistico submitted Guerrero via whirling armbar in the deciding fall.
Mistico is on a roll since the rest of his family exited CMLL. He has two wins over kingpin Ultimo Guerrero this week and won Phase 1 of the Torneo Gran Alternativa last week. It would not be surprising if Mistico wins the CMLL World Welterweight Championship soon, which was vacated by his brother Dragon Lee when he was fired.
What do you think is the ceiling for Mistico in CMLL? Can he break out and become a true superstar with his brother Rush’s shadow no longer looming large?