Viva La Lucha PPV 6/11/10 Recap
Written By Alfredo Esparza
Some thoughts on Viva La Lucha’s first PPV. I’ll post my overall impression on the first show at the end of the review.
I thought the production and video quality of the show was solid. Video quality and lucha libre don’t tend to go together as you do have people with varying opinions of what good video quality is and isn’t. I’m usually just satisfied if I can watch it without squinting or getting really close to the TV.:) This being for PPV, they have to be a lot more specific on video quality and need it to be HD quality. All that being said, I’m curious how much it costs to film indy shows in HD since the Perros Del Mal and Pro Wrestling Revolution matches were shot in HD. XLAW wasn’t in HD and they put it in this box-type thing (smaller screen). I’d assume there were issues with the video footage. Kind of like when you convert vhs to dvd were there’s some distortions on the sides, top and bottom of the screen. I dunno. They probably need to hook up XLAW with an HD camera for their next show.
The production and presention of the show was pretty solid. Show moved pretty fast. There were no cell phone fart app. commercials, which that alone was a positive. The announcing was handled by G.Q. Money, Excalibur, and Larry Rivera for the Perros Del Mal portion of the show and Kevin Kleinrock and Kris Kloss for the XLAW. I thought they did a fine job. Larry Rivera went a bit on a tangent early on in the show, but he did redeem himself later on in the show. I do enjoy his shtick and really of any announcer your going to want who knows lucha libre, he’s probably near the top of the list.
Turbo b. Black Thunder for the NWA Mexico Lightweight Championship. – Good opening match. Kept it at about the 10-minute mark and both guys did a solid job. Probably not their best match, which is perfectly fine if they can get both guys back on for an upcoming show. They used a lot of innovative moves which I thought on this show was perfectly fine given that no one else on the show was going to attempt the type of moves these two could do.
Mr. Águila b TJP – I thought this was the best match on the card and it seemed to be the match that the announcers enjoyed calling the most. TJP would easily be one of the top 2-3 foreign workers in Mexico if he worked there on a more regular basis. He also looked really tiny next to Mr. Aguila. I assume Mr. Aguila hasn’t been missing many meals lately. Mr. Aguila had his working boots on for this match. Back and forth action between these two. Mr. Aguila did do a tope con hilo on TJP and overshot TJP. Might have hurt his ankle. Either way, I don’t think TJP would have survived had he took the full brunt of that move. Mr. Aguila did a dive into the first couple of rows as well. TJP did this really cool sliding headscissors through the middle rope onto Mr. Aguila on the outside. TJP used a cross armbreaker in an attempt to get Mr. Aguila to submit and of course MMA gets brought up as being the influence. Why can’t they just refer to New Japan or UWF as the influence to that move? Its been used loooong before MMA was around. Mr. Aguila gets the pin when he rolls up TJP and grabs the tights for added leverage. Really fun match.
Oliver John b Blue Demon Jr. [cage] – thecubsfan called Oliver John, “Oliver Pearce”. LOL! This was from a Pro Wrestling Revolution show. Match was slower than the previous matches. The end of the match was pretty good though. Blue Demon Jr. was trying to escape, but Oliver St. John’s cronies were holding the cage door. Kafu comes in to help Blue Demon Jr. Vaquero Fantasma comes out to help Blue Demon Jr., but he turns on Kafu and Blue Demon Jr. whacking them with chairs. Oliver John wins the match diving over Blue Demon Jr.
El Hijo de Rey Misterio & Groon XXX b Nova & Oriental – Tirantes was the ref in this match. He did his typical rudo ref routine getting involved at certain points in the match. When I first heard this match was part of the PPV, I immediately assumed Groon XXX or Hijo de Rey Misterio were gonna be the weaker two in this match, but incredible El Oriental decided to mail-in this match. This might have been the worst I’ve seen El Oriental in a match as he stalled a lot and spent most of the match hitting people with the kendo stick. Super Nova seemed confused with El Oriental. Groon XXX and Hijo del Rey Misterio actually worked hard and Groon XXX actually didn’t look half bad in this match. Unfortunately he broke his knee again. Hijo de Rey Misterio got the win over Super Nova with the Spanish Fly, which I thought was a good way for him to win.
Hijo del Perro Aguayo and the rest of Los Perros Del Mal made their way to the ring. Hijo del Perro Aguayo wanted a one-fall mask vs. hair match against Hijo de Rey Misterio. Hijo de Rey Misterio accepted and they had a short match before the rest of the Perros Del Mal got involved and they put him through a table. Really thought the closing angle helped Hijo de Rey Misterio come across as someone important. I’d hope they get him some more win on this show and slowly build him up. I’d go with Super Nova vs. Hijo de Rey Misterio on an upcoming show if possible.
LA Park b Sabu [XLAW HEAVY] – Your non-HD match of the night! By the way, I didn’t watch this in HD. I don’t really see the point in wasting more money on TV. I grew up in an era were we had kids holding the old rabbit-ear antennae to get better picture quality. If I can see it from my couch, I’m okay with it. Besides, I don’t really care about watching death matches on HD.:) That’s just me.
They aired only the “Best 15 minutes” or I think that’s what they were promoting on the site. Super Parka got involved early on by knocking out the ref for this match. Sabu used tables. Supposedly Super Parka was feuding with L.A. Park prior to this match, but the finish came with L.A. Park falling on Sabu and Super Parka making the count for L.A. Park’s victory. That confused me, but I assume they’ll use the “Super Parka helped L.A. Park, so he can keep the XLAW title and then defend it against him” reasoning.
Damián 666 b X-Fly, Supreme, Charly Manson, Halloween [hardcore] – I’m not a fan of this style of wrestling. Its not wrestling, its a gruesome stunt show. I did think Charly Manson looked quicker in this match. I was getting worried about him moving like a 300 year old mummy the last few months in AAA last year. They used a lot of weapons like a coffin, a crate, barbed wire, tables, chairs, thumbtacks, and fluorescent light tubes. You know on the trip over to the MPW show, Kurt, Fisico and myself had just talked about the dangers of broken fluorescent light tubes. Very interesting. This match and the post-match consequences to the guys involved are things I never want to see in HD. Best thing out of this match was Excalibur pointing out how lucha libre isn’t quite the same anymore and talked about all the influences from styles around the world, which had Larry Rivera call it a “degradation of lucha libre”. So true. This match wasn’t lucha libre, it was hardcore wrestling.
They did a couple of post-match promos.
They finished with a bonus for the fans. The third fall of a trios match from the Perros Del Mal show.
Diva Salvaje, el Ángel, Leo b Medussa, Pesadilla, Ragde They just aired the third fall and that was pretty short to round out the PPV.
Something I would have done and I know people hate commercials, but I think they should have done a quick little ad for Masked Republic’s merchandise. Nothing to long, but just point out that they have masks, shirts, gear, available. Get a hot chick to wear a t-shirt.
Overall, if you like the current AAA product, I think you’ll enjoy this Viva La Lucha Pay-Per-View. If you can’t get the PPV, get the DVD when it comes out as Kevin Kleinrock has mentioned it will have bonus features. I thought the first 30 minutes of this show were the type of matches I like and wish they would have had at least one more match like that on the show. I could do without seeing two hardcore wrestling matches on a show. However, there are way more consumers into the hardcore stuff than traditional lucha libre.
As far as Viva La Lucha’s future with the ever-changing landscape in lucha libre, I have no idea what they can or will do in future shows. Already, Mr. Aguila and El Oriental are probably out of any future shows now that they’ve rejoined CMLL. I have no idea what the current situation with Los Perros Del Mal and AAA is and if anyone does, they’re probably just guessing. However, there is a lot of independent or non-AAA/CMLL guys available. There’s always guys like Los Traumas, Negro Navarro, Black Terry, Skayde, Solar I, Rey Hechicero, Cassandro (when he returns)and TJ guys (I only mention them because certain people like TJ luchadores) available. I’d be curious to find out if they can get IWRG involved in this. Maybe talk IWRG and Teleformula (available on the same cable providers and Dish Network that aired the PPV) into some sort of deal to plug the PPV in those 7-minute commercial spots on Teleformula and get some of their guys on the show. There’s also the future endeavored WWE guys and older guys like Sabu available. The difficult part is gonna be if they lose Perros Del Mal, they might not have a headliner on their cards besides maybe Blue Demon Jr.
I’ll probably keep ordering their PPVs. They should let me fantasy book one of their shows.:) Lets see how quickly Perro Jr. or Blue Demon Jr. blows them off and go back to the hardcore stuff. I would keep the hardcore match though. I just wouldn’t watch it. Okay, I’m done….