The former Mistico and the current Mistico faced off on opposing teams in a main event trios match on Friday evening in Arena Mexico. Them facing off was just one aspect of two different “relevos increibles” matchups headlining a card inside the “Cathedral of Lucha Libre.”
A theme of mixing rudos and tecnicos together on the same team opposing rivals on other wildcard teams led to outcomes that built towards upcoming CMLL shows.
Could a future show have the current Mistico facing the megastar he replaced in a singles match? The booking seems to suggest such a match with Caristico, or at least another trios battle if nothing else.
Caristico was the first Mistico in Arena Mexico — who went on to become a major draw and the promotion’s top star until leaving for his WWE run (as the original Sin Cara). The current version of Mistico is typically a straight babyface, but he played the heel rudo against the crowd favorite — who he replaced under the mask many years ago.
The trios match that closed the show actually ended in a draw, which is very rare for a main event in Arena Mexico. A countout finish set up a rematch between the two teams next Friday night. Beyond next week, a singles meeting between Mistico and Caristico appears possible.
The semi-main furthered the build towards an upcoming hair match involving Negro Casas and Sam Adonis. Their feud continues to heat up ahead of the apuesta match on New Year’s Day.
The opening match also had forethought, which set up a mini’s title bout next Friday. The opener also set a trend on this show of the rudos dominating the undercard matches.
A few tecnicos also highlighted the undercard when Dragon Lee and Titan met one-on-one. The two flyers had a lightning match (10-minute time limit) where they showcased more of their fighting spirit rather than their flying.
Plugged often on the show was a new book from CMLL that chronicles their 85 years of lucha libre. Helping to market the book, a pre-show ceremony and reception hyped the item now being available for sale in Arena Mexico. Active and retired luchadores — along with family members — took part in an in-ring ceremony before the undercard began.
Watch the full show below (opening match begins around the 30 minute mark):
Pequeno Olimpico & Mercurio defeated Stukita & Shockercito
The lasting impression from the opening match was the challenge made afterwards that set up a mini’s title match next week. But first, the rudos won the first and third falls to take the match.
The rudos gained the early advantage by winning the opening fall. Olimpico pinned Shockercito after an assist from Mercurio with a guillotine legdrop. Mercurio then pinned Stukita after an assisted spike Jay Driller.
In the second fall, a miscue by the rudos allowed the tecnicos to strike. Stukita springboarded into a torpedo splash on Olimpico, and followed with a lionsault to score a pinfall. Shockercito pinned Mercurio with a sunset flip to even the falls.
Into the third fall, Mercurio pinned Olimpico via la magistral. Mercurio shifted his focus to Shockercito, pinning him with a package piledriver to win the match for the rudos.
Mercurio cut a promo challenging Shockercito to a mini’s title match. Shockercito accepted. The rudos then stomped some mudholes and walked ‘em dry before leaving.
Sagrado, Misterioso Jr. & captain Virus defeated Pegasso, Oro Jr. & captain Star Jr.
The rudo team started off strong and finished strong after briefly faltering when the tecnicos rallied.
Rudo captain Virus used a knee bar to submit tecnico captain Star Jr. in the first fall. Upon a tecnico comeback in the second fall, Pegasso splashed Misterioso with a 450 splash to eliminate him via pinfall.
Pegasso then crouched down so Star could jump off his back like they were RVD and Sabu. Star leapt into a missile dropkick and pinned Sagrado for the tecnicos to even the match.
They picked up the pace heading into the third fall as the action sped up. Virus eliminated Oro Jr. with a Gory Bomb for a pinfall. Virus dropped a flying elbow off the top rope on Star. Sagrado followed with another flying elbow drop, and Sagrado covered Star to score the deciding pinfall for the rudos.
Polvora, Hechicero & captain Euforia (w/ Mije) defeated Drone, Guerrero Maya Jr. (w/ KeMonito) & captain Rey Cometa
Continuing the dominance shown by the rudo side, Euforia captained a team that won the first and third falls in taking the match.
Polvora executed a super dominator and pinned Drone for an elimination. Hechicero then submitted Guerrero Maya — hogtying him into a submission hold to secure the first fall for the rudo team.
The tecnicos launched into a comeback in the second fall. Guerrero Maya eliminated Hechicero by pinfall after a springboard trust fall, and Drone did a handstand into a falling knee drop to pin Polvora.
The rudo captain submitted the tecnico captain in the third fall. For the finish, Cometa rolled through on a missed Phoenix Splash only to get trapped by Euforia in a variation of the dragon sleeper.
The rudos took a break from dominating the win column after this match, but only because the next matchup involved two tecnicos in a singles bout.
Dragon Lee defeated Titan in a lightning match
Dragon Lee pinned Titan using the Dragon Driver about eight and a half minutes into a 10-minute time limit. In a battle of tecnicos, the only heel in this match was the referee — Tirantes. With Dragon Lee getting the win, Titan seemingly got to shine more in the body of the match while also doing most of the flying.
Instead of focusing on high-flying spectacle, this was more centered around fighting spirit. They began with grappling and turned up the volume from there with striking exchanges. Titan eventually went to the air when he springboarded off the top rope into a moonsault on the floor.
Dragon Lee at one point leapt off the top rope with a double foot stomp. Titan cut him off with a swinging DDT for a near fall. Dragon Lee regrouped to hit a running knee strike, followed by a reverse ‘rana in the closing moments. Finishing him off with the Dragon Driver, Dragon Lee held on to a bridge for the three count.
Pierroth, Rush & captain Sam Adonis defeated Valiente, Marco Corleone & captain Negro Casas (w/ El Perico Zakarias)
Adonis attacked Casas during the introductions and never let up. Los Ingobernables joined him to gang up on Casas. The referee tried to break up the beatdown, and Adonis shoved him down for a disqualification to end the first fall.
Undeterred by a DQ seemingly giving Casas’ team the lead, the Ingobernables and Adonis went on to win two straight falls. They also maintained their onslaught on Casas. Very soon into the second fall, Adonis used a Michinoku Driver to score a pinfall on Casas. A team captain pinning the opposing captain evened the falls at one apiece.
Casas and his tecnico teammates flew into a comeback in the third fall. Casas cradled Adonis using la magistral for a two count.
Casas began arguing with the referee over a slow count when Adonis shoved Casas into the ref. With the ref’s back turned, Adonis hit Casas with a low blow and covered him for a pinfall.
Adonis went on to cut a promo in Spanish on Casas, which hypes their upcoming apuesta match. Not quite finished, Adonis started to administer a post-match beatdown on Casas.
Adonis hit Casas with his flagpole and draped the Donald Trump-emblazoned American flag over Casas. That only served to angry Casas. He came alive to start hitting Adonis with the flagpole.
Casas broke the wooden stick over Adonis’ back as he tried to flee. Casas teased shoving the stick somewhere very dastardly, but the referee luckily intervened to break up the fight. Adonis then fled the scene.
Ultimo Guerrero, Soberano Jr. & captain Caristico vs. El Terrible (w/ La Comandante), Volador Jr. & captain Mistico went to a draw
Mistico wore horns to the ring, foreshadowing a more devilish side. He ripped and tore the mask of Caristico at the outset of the first fall. Mistico played the aggressor, and morphed into an even more heelish rudo as the match progressed.
Mistico’s team ganged up on Caristico, and Terrible splashed him off the top rope for a pinfall that gave Mistico’s team the first fall. That fall and the second that followed were both rather short compared to a lengthier third fall.
Caristico and company made a comeback in the second fall. Caristico and Soberano did flip dives before Ultimo Guerrero trapped Mistico in a submission. Mistico submitted to Pulpo Guerrero as Ultimo Guerrero won the second fall for his team.
Mistico and his cohorts tried to take a powder, but Caristico and company gave chase to start a brawl on the floor. Ultimo Guerrero and Terrible squared off at one point to trade strikes. Mistico and Caristico also faced off — much to the delight of the crowd.
Caristico sold for some time until firing up and running wild. The pacing then greatly increased. Soberano got to shine as he took to the air in flight.
Two eliminations set up sudden death. Terrible caught Soberano and powerbombed him for an elimination via pinfall. Ultimo Guerrero then rushed in to roll-up Terrible, pinning him with a schoolboy for another elimination.
A Gordon Solie Pier-Six brawl erupted on the floor. The referee counted out everyone not already eliminated — ruling the match a draw.
Ultimo Guerrero cut a promo wanting another fall to determine a winner. Instead, he settled for Terrible’s idea of a rematch next week. Caristico also cut a promo on Mistico.
The feud shall continue next Friday night at Arena Mexico: