MLW “Azteca Lucha” results (5/11): Vetter’s review of Mistico vs. Barbaro Cavernario, Star Jr. and Fuego vs. Averno and Magnus, Matt Riddle vs. Joshua Bishop

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By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

Major League Wrestling “Azteca Lucha”
Mary 11, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois at Cicero Stadium
Streamed on TrillerTV+

I attended an Impact PPV last year in this venue and I know it holds about 600 or so fans. Just an aside, but as I drove there last year, I saw several signs written in Spanish in this neighborhood — I even ate at a Mexican pizza place! —  and people told me this venue historically has drawn well for lucha shows (and of course that was months before this lucha event was announced.) Point being, this seems like a good location for a lucha-themed show.

The show opened with Salina De La Renta backstage and yelling at the goons in their red masks. Cesar Duran walked up and said “Azteca Lucha begins!” To the arena, and it looks well-lit and full. Joe Dombrowski and Christian Cole provided commentary. Later in the show, Dombrowski said not only is this a sellout, they have “set an attendance record.”

1. Jesus Rodriguez, Atlantis, and Guerrero Maya Jr. defeated Felino, Virus, and Villano III at 19:23. As you would expect, Felino has a cat/lion look to his mask. Virus is the only guy on his team not in a mask. Virus opened with Maya Jr., who wore orange pants and an orange mask. Villano III and Jesus entered at 4:00; I really haven’t seen Rodriguez wrestle much before. (Certainly more known for being Alberto Del Rio’s hype man!) Villano hit a nice huracanrana. Felino entered — he had already removed the mask he wore to the ring — and he battled Atlantis. Felino’s team worked over Jesus. They then worked over Atlantis.

All six brawled in the ring. Dombrowski made it clear that most of these guys are 20+ year ring veterans. Maya hit some deep armdrags at 12:30. Jesus entered and hit some enzuigiris. Atlantis entered and hit a series of tilt-a-whirl backbreakers over his knee. Villano III hit an Asai Moonsault at 16:00. Everyone brawled in the ring again. Jesus hit a flip dive to the floor. Villano hit a running knee on Atlantis, but he missed an Arabian Press. Atlantis put him in a Torture Rack, and Villano tapped out. Decent match; it didn’t drag but there weren’t a lot of high-flying moves, either.

* Backstage, Cesar Duran asked Selina where her mother was tonight. That made Selina angry and she told him to keep her mother’s name out of his mouth. The win in that first match means Selina is up 1-0. (I truly don’t know who is the heel and babyface between them, and I don’t care either. That’s a big problem with how this feud has been presented.)

2. Bad Dude Tito defeated Rickey Shane Page to win the MLW Openweight Title at 7:00 even. Dombrowski made it clear this is not part of the lucha series involving Selina and Duran. RSP attacked and they brawled at the bell. Tito dove through the ropes onto Page. Tito hit a snap suplex on the thin mat at ringside. In the ring, Tito hit an enzuigiri. RSP took control of the offense. Tito backed him into a corner and hit a series of chops, then an Exploder Suplex for a nearfall at 3:30. Tito nailed a pop-up powerbomb for a nearfall. Page hit a stunner, but he missed a Swanton Bomb. Tito nailed a Death Valley Driver for a believable nearfall at 5:30. RSP hit a chokeslam-and-kick combo for a nearfall. Tito hit a hard clothesline. TIto hit a Drill Claw-style piledriver for the pin! New champion! Decent match.

* Backstage, Krule attacked Bill Alfonso. Bill said, “Matthew Justice is not going to like this” as Krule attacked him.

3. Atlantis Jr. defeated Ultimo Guerrero at 13:05. Atlantis Jr. wore a title belt. The rotund Guerrero attacked from behind and whipped him with some type of hard clothing item in his hand. They brawled on the floor with Guerrero in charge, and the crowd was behind him. Atlantis hit a dive through the ropes at 5:00. He hit another dive, with Guerrero crashing hard backward into the guardrail. In the ring, Atlantis Jr. hit a huracanrana, then a flip dive to the floor at 8:30. In the ring, Guerrero was on the second rope, picked him up for a suplex, but dropped him stomach-first for a nearfall. Guerrero then hit a second-rope release powerbomb for a nearfall at 11:30. Atlantis missed a frog splash. Atlantis Jr. hit a powerslam, then a frogsplash, to score the pin. The crowd was really into this one. Sellina is now up 2-0.

* Davey Boy Smith and Tom Lawlor were injured by the Contra Unit and have relinquished the tag titles. (Lawlor was competing at NJPW in California at the time of this event.)

4. Okumura and Satoshi Kojima defeated “Second Gear Crew” 1 Called Manders and Matthew Justice to win the vacant MLW Tag Team Titles at 10:57. Okumura and Justice opened and shook hands. Dombrowski pointed out these four were a team in War Chamber just a month ago. Manders and Kojima entered and traded hard chops at 3:00. SGC beat up Kojima on the floor. In the ring, they worked over Okumura. Manders hit a delayed vertical suplex on Okumura for a nearfall at 7:00. Okumura hit a Flatliner and he made the hot tag to Kojima.

Satoshi hit his rapid-fire chops on Manders, then on Justice, then more on Manders! The SGC leaned Kojima against the ropes and took turns chopping him. Satoshi hit a stunner on Manders at 9:00. Okumura hit an Exploder on Manders, then one on Justice. He hit a stunner-and-DDT combo on the SGCrew. Okumura hit a superplex on Justice, then a running stunner on Manders for the pin! I am surprised, as I assumed Kojima wouldn’t win the MLW Tag Titles while already holding the MLW Heavyweight Title.

5. Matt Riddle defeated Joshua Bishop at 4:29. Bishop has a shoulder brace again. Riddle hit a series of punches to the abdomen that Bishop no-sold, so he switched to roundhouse kicks to the chest. Bishop slammed Matt to the mat, and he hit a shoulder tackle at 1:00. Bishop hit a fallaway slam. I heard some fans chant “Psycho Sid!” at Bishop. Bishop hit a Black Hole Slam for a nearfall at 3:30. Riddle hit a knee strike to the chest and a stunner, then a top-rope corkscrew senton for the pin. That finish came out of nowhere!

* Dombrowski interviewed Riddle at ringside. He started to say he never got a chance to win Battle Riot, but he was attacked from behind by Sami Callihan. Sami called him a “stupid little bitch” and he vowed he will win Battle Riot and will be the next MLW World Champion. Riddle got to his feet and they brawled at ringside and went to the back.

* We went to the “Battle Riot VI Control Center” video, revealing some names including: Matt Riddle, Davey Boy Smith Jr., 1 Called Manders, Matthew Justice, Timothy Thatcher, Earnest Miller, Mistico, Okumura, Josh Bishop, Sami Callihan, Akira, Bobby Fish, Mr. Thomas, Brett Ryan Gosselin, Jake Crist. It was then announced MLW will be back in this building on Nov. 9 for “Lucha Apocalypto.”

6. Averno and Magnus defeated Star Jr. and Fuego at 11:55. Averno & Magnus are representing Duran. Fuego (in yellow and orange, making me thing of Curry Man) opened against Magnus (in white). Star Jr. (in blue) entered to face Averno, the only unmasked wrestler of the four. Averno slammed Star Jr on the thin mat on the floor at 2:30. Averno and Magnus then began working over Fuego 2-on-1 in the ring. Fuego hit some flips and did a hip-shimmy dance. Averno hit an Angel’s Wings. Averno and Magnus hit simultaneous double-underhook finishers for nearfall at 11:00. Star Jr. hit an impressive flip dive through the ropes on Averno. Magnus hit a running double knees to Fuego’s face in the corner, then a slam to pin Fuego. Fast-paced match with great energy, but with a somewhat flat finish — that move just didn’t look like a finisher. Selina is now up 2-1.

* More backstage stuff between Duran and Selina. They are just so darn unlikable and I really don’t know why we should care who wins this series. Matt Riddle vs. Sami Callihan, “Krule” Mads Krugger vs. Matthew Justice and 1 Called Manders vs. Satoshi Kojima and the women’s four-way will air next Saturday on youtube. (Those matches presumably all were taped before or after the live taping.)

7. Mistico defeated Barbaro Cavernario at 18:37.  Again, Barbaro is a caveman with a bone in his hair and cave drawings/markings all over his body. A dozen monks, wearing white robes and crosses around their necks, walked out onto the entrance area, with monastery chants. This felt more weird than cool, and Mistico walked out between the two rows of monks. They traded quick armdrags at the bell. Mistico hit a huracanrana at 2:00. Barbaro hit a dive to the floor, and they brawled at ringside. Back in the ring, Cavernario was in charge and the crowd was booing him. Mistico hit a 619, then a springboard huracanrana at 6:30. He hit a dive through the ropes.

In the ring, Mistico hit another huracanrana then a springboard dropkick. Mistico hit a huracanrana for a nearfall at 9:00. Cavernario hit a backbreaker over his knee and he regained control of the match, working over the right arm. Mistico hit a twisting dive over the top rope to the floor at 13:00 and we got a “Este lucha!” chant. In the ring, Mistico went for a moonsault and missed but landed on his feet; he hit a powerslam and they were both down. Mistico hit some chops in the corner. They traded clotheslines, and Mistico hit a superkick at 16:00 and they were both down again.

Barbaro went to the top rope, but Mistico cut him off and hit a modified top-rope Spanish Fly for a nearfall at 18:30. He hit a headscissors, slammed Barbaro stomach-first to the mat, locked in the Fujiwara Armbar, and Cavernario tapped out. Very good match but there was never any doubt who was winning.

* Backstage, Duran and Salina talked, as it is now tied 2-2. Court Bauer came up and talked to Duran; Salina stole the key and took off! However, as she went through a door, she was kidnapped by the goons in the red mask, as the show went off the air. Seriously, who is the babyface in this feud, and why should I care?

Final Thoughts: First and foremost, this show did what it set out to do — have some really good lucha action. No, I really don’t know them well, but the action was good, especially the final two matches. Even the opening six-man, where it felt like nothing much happened, never dragged, even though I would have preferred that match be shorter to give more minutes perhaps to Riddle-Bishop. I will go with the main event for best match.

The bad… I don’t see why you put the tag titles on the fairly immobile Kojima. Is Lawlor already done again with MLW? If he’s still there… he could have just retained the titles without them being defended on this event/taping. Bishop is too good to lose that quickly, even if MLW has decided to rebuild around Riddle. And while this show was filled with the luchadors and focused on that theme, how about a skit or a segment about the rest of the main MLW roster, from Alex Kane to AJ Francis? This show just felt like there was no flow from the last taping to this taping. And I’ve already voiced my objection to the Duran-Selina stuff… I just never see a point on a storyline like this when there is no clear way to have an in-ring payoff to conclude it.

WE VALUE YOUR PRIVACY

Readers Comments (1)

  1. TheGreatestOne May 13, 2024 @ 11:28 am

    Court Bauer got $20 million from WWE and THIS is what he’s doing with it?

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