FEATURE: Josh Boutwell previews 4/27 Masked Mania iPPV

Masked Republic presents “Maked Mania” iPPV Preview
Philadelphia, PA (ECW Arena)
April 27, 2014
By: Josh Boutwell of Wrestleview.com

On April 27th, Masked Republic has joined forces with Pro Wrestling Revolution, HighSpots, and Extreme Rising to present the very first Lucha Libre iPPV in America live from the famed ECW Arena in South Philly! Featuring names from both Mexico and America this card will feature all that is great about Lucha Libre including all the high flying action, women’s wrestling, the mini luchadors, title matches, trios action, a bout between legendary “maestros” (trainers), and a big time one on one matchup between two big stars and even bigger rivals. Masked Republic and Kevin Kleinrock have been straddled with several thousand dollars in added expenses because of the drama with Extreme Rising cancelling its shows on this weekend, but have vowed that the show will go on and that all booked talent is still scheduled to appear.

A little Lucha Libre 101 for those that aren’t as familiar with the Mexican pastime as others. Some of the words you will see a lot when talking about Lucha Libre are very important, “Rudo” and “Tecnico” being the main things to know in lucha. A “rudo” is a heel or villain while a “tecnico” is a babyface or a good guy. A “mini estrella” or just “mini” is a small person or a midget. Minis are extremely popular in Lucha Libre and actually have extremely acrobatic and entertaining matches. Many times these mini’s are a “mini” version of a full sized wrestler. El Torito in WWE is one of the more famous luchadors, he competed for many years in Mexico as Mascarita Dorada. An “exotico” is a very flamboyant luchador usually a transsexual or just simply a wrestler playing a transsexual. Think Adrian Adonis or Adrian Street here. A “trios” is just a three man team, it is a major staple in lucha libre is a huge bulk of the matches you see on a card are typically trios matches.


Hallowicked & Frightmare vs. Ultimo Panda & Latin Dragon
The duo of Hallowicked and Frightmare are long time CHIKARA stars having been trained by CHIKARA founder Mike Quackenbush and lucha legend Jorge “Skayde” Rivera. Both are former CHIKARA Young Lions Cup winners with Hallowicked winning the first ever tournament. Ultimo Panda was trained by PWR’s training school in California and has worked primarily for the lucha promotion PWR. He has a goofy dancing panda type of gimmick that kids seem to love, but I don’t know how the Philly crowd will take it. Latin Dragon is a young high flyer that was trained by CZW and has worked primarily for independent promotions in Philly including CZW.


Trios Match
The Osirian Portal (Amasis & Ophidian) & Green Ant vs. 3-Live Gringos (Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, & Papadon)
The self professed first American Lucha Libre promotion CHIKARA will be sending three of its high flying stars in Amasis, Ophidian, and Green Ant to do battle with a trio of gringos in Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, and Papadon. The gringos work all over the U.S. including CZW, Dragon Gate USA, and Extreme Rising. Greent Ant, Ophidian, & Amasis have worked for various promotions but CHIKARA is their home base. They also work a lot for Dragon Gate USA.


PWR Campeonato de Feminil (Women’s Championship)
Christina Von Eerie (c) vs. Sumie Sakai
Von Eerie is the current reigning PWR Women’s Champion having defeated former TNA star Alissa Flash/Cheerleader Melissa. Von Eerie herself used to work for TNA as Toxxic. She has also wrestled at times for AAA in Mexico. Sumie Sakai is a Japanese star that made a name for herself in Japan actually wrestling male stars like Great Sasuke, Jinsei Shinzaki/Hakushi, and Dick Togo before moving to America in the early 2000’s. Since then she has wrestled all over for promotions like Ring of Honor. Sakai is also a legit bad ass boasting a blue belt in Jiu-Jitsu as well as being a practicioner of Judo. She has competed in MMA as well with 7 fights to her record (2-4-1 record).


PWR Campeonato de Minis (Mini’s Championship)
Mini Mariachi (c) vs. Pierrothito
The PWR Minis Champion Mini Mariachi is actually the original Octagoncito under a new mask. As Octagoncito he was one of the top luchaors in all of Mexico for many years primarily working in AAA. He actually won the belt under the Octagoncito name but is being recognized as the champion still under his new name and mask. His opponent is also another very respected lucha mini in Pierrothito, who was a mini star in CMLL for many years in Mexico. He was the Mexican National Lightweight Champion for nearly five years before CMLL stripped him of the title after he parted ways with the promotion. This will be a matchup between two of the most well respected minis in the last decade.


Campenato de Maestros (Maestros/Masters Championship)
Solar I (c) vs. Negro Navarro
MaskedMania is listing Solar as the current champion but as far back as I can look in my own records and online Negro Navarro was the last FLLM Campenato de Maestros and was defending the belt as recently as February, so unless Navarro dropped the belt to Solar in the mean time at a show I haven’t seen this may be a mistake. Regardless the two legends have been feuding over this title since it was created back in 2011. They’ve traded it between each other four times and they are the only two luchadors to win it even though others like El Satanico, Latino, El Dandy, Skayde, and even AAA World Champion Texano Jr. have challenged for it. Negro Navarro and Solar I are true legends in Lucha Libre and are not only two of the most respected luchadors in the country but also two of the most well respected trainers/maestros in Lucha as well. They are also fathers of young luchadors as well. Negro is the father of two young and coming stars in Los Traumas (Trauma I & Trauma II) while Solar’s sons Solar Jr. and El Hijo de Solar are just started out. Negro Navarro is best known for his team with El Signo & El Texano as Los Misioneros de la Muerte (The Missionaries of Death) in the 1970’s which is credited as being the team that helped popularize trios matches in Lucha while Solar had a rivalry with the original Tiger Mask in Japan in the 1980s. Solar and Navarro began feuding in the early 2000’s and their old school mat wrestling style of matches were so revered that fans would routinely throw pesos (money) in the ring after the bouts, a traditional sign of respect in Lucha Libre. Since then these two have wrestled dozens and dozens of times wowing crowds all over Mexico and Japan with their submission and mat wrestling with a little hint of that lucha high flying. Now the two legends look to wow the American audience.


Cassandro vs. “The Spartan” Matt Cross
They’re promoting this match as “Exotico vs. Muy Macho” playing on Matt Cross’ masculine “Spartan” gimmick and the feminine exotico. This will likely be a lot of comedy that American fans have seen before with the likes of Adrian Street and Goldust in the past, but Cassandro is very good technically and Matt Cross has a lot of experience working Lucha as well as being a solid high flyer himself. Cross is most well known for his appearance on the last season of WWE’s Tough Enough, but he has literally worked all over the world.


Trios Match
“Homicidal, Suicidal, Genocidal” Sabu, Damian 666, & Bestia 666 vs. “The Notorious 187” Homicide & BLK OUT (Ruckus & BLK JEEZ)
Despite Sabu being most well known for his work in America as a part of ECW he has had substantial work in Mexico including a very well received feud with L.A. Park in the early 2000’s. He has teamed with Damian 666 in the past and in fact possibly his most difficult match ever was a match where he teamed with Damian 666 and Perro Aguayo Jr. in Mexico against L.A. Park, Silver King, & Pierroth. In the match Sabu suffered a broken finger, a severed finger tip, and actually was partially scalped during the match. Both Sabu and Damian 666 have become well known for their hardcore wrestling but they both like to fly as well. Damian’s son Bestia is a very solid high flyer but has fell into the trap that his father did his later career in turning to more hardcore spots. BLK OUT (Ruckus and JEEZ) are a very talented high flying tag team and should work really well in this type of environment unless it turns into a free for all hardcore match (strong possibility). Originally southern wrestler Luke Hawx was scheduled to team with BLK OUT in this Trios Match but due to all the drama that has surrounded him and Extreme Rising over the last few weeks he has been pulled from the show. Replacing him is former multi time TNA X-Division and TNA World Tag Team Champion Homicide! Interestingly enough Homicide has not crossed paths with BLK OUT very much in his career though they do have a common friend in Eddie Kingston. Kingston was a charter member of BLK OUT back in the day and is currently Homicide’s partner in ROH as Outlaw Inc. at the moment.


L.A. Park vs. Dr. Wagner Jr.
This the Main Event, as it should be! L.A. Park, yes the original La Parka, and Dr. Wagner Jr. are two of the biggest stars in Mexico and have been feuding off and on with each other literally for years in both CMLL and AAA. Wagner may not be as well known to American fans as Park is but he is equally as talented and at times can be equally as brutal and violent. These two have the ability to put on a clinic in terms of just a great wrestling match, but they can also be just as brutal as any hardcore wrestlers in the world. I believe this is both men’s first time on iPPV in America and will be one of their most high profile matches in quite some time. This match will be a treat for wrestling fans in America especially for the ones that haven’t seen the violent side of L.A. Park as much as the dancing and comedy side at times.

“Masked Mania” takes place April 27th at 5:00 PM (eastern) live from the ECW Arena and on iPPV at www.Highspots.tv for $9.99.