Wrestleview Roadtrip: Mucha Lucha ATL
March 20, 2016
By: Josh Boutwell of Wrestleview.com
I have been a massive Lucha Libre fan since the first time I saw Eddie Guerrero and Art Barr vs. El Hijo del Santo and Octagon at the “When Worlds Collide” event when I was a child (I saw it on an old tape my cousin gave me), and I fell in love with Lucha Libre the first time I saw Rey Misterio Jr. blow my mind. Since then I have been to dozens and dozens of live events, watch hundreds of hours of matches online, DVD, television, etc. but I have never seen an authentic Lucha Libre event. The fact of the matter is that I may never get a chance to see one live in Mexico, I may never get to sit in the crowd at Arena Mexico or attend a “TripleMania” event, but an Independent promotion in Atlanta, GA (or outside of Atlanta) is offering up an authentic Lucha experience called Mucha Lucha ATL. They have been running shows for a few years now and have brought in stars like CMLL’s Ultimo Guerrero and Blue Panther, but Sunday’s “Mucha Lucha Mania” event may have been the promotions biggest event ever. MLA hosted stars from AAA/Lucha Underground, DTU, and Puerto Rico for the event, along with local stars from the Georgia area.
This was my best shot at getting to see Lucha live so I made the nearly four ride to Atlanta and after a near mental breakdown during my first ever drive in Atlanta traffic (it was not fun) I got see an unbelievable night of action alongside more than 800 Lucha fans. The show can actually be broken down into two halves with the first three matches being a blend between old school southern wrestling and lucha while the final half was purely lucha fun.
The Suicide Squad vs. The Lynch Mob
The opening match saw two rival tag teams that have apparently been feuding in the Peach State. Both teams worked pretty well together, especially Lynch Mob who broke out some really nice double team moves and cut the ring in half keeping the much smaller member of the Suicide Squad team isolated for much of the match. They picked up the pace big time down the stretch with dives and lots of big moves and nearfalls. Lynch Mob hit Chasing The Dragon but couldn’t get a pin and eventually Suicide Squad hit Double Superkicks for the win. Both teams shook hands after the match.
Before the next match the rudo/heel faction American Strong (a massive bearded American with his manager and a valet with her hair colored red and blue. The valet was more muscular than most men and was wearing an American flag bikini top with booty shorts and her finer assets hanging out for everyone to see). The manager had a “Trump 2016” sign with him and said that Donald Trump’s nephew, Nigel Trump (Indy wrestler Nigel Sherrod), was originally supposed to face David Tita tonight but he is campaigning in Florida for his uncle so he couldn’t make it. Instead he sent his massive “Odison” to do the work for him.
David Tita vs. Odison w/American Strong
Fairly short match with what you would expect with a smaller flyer going against a big powerhouse. Tita did some nice high spots and he bumped big for Odison on the power moves. Odison’s entourage ended up costing him the match when the valet accident sprayed some substance in his face leading to a rollup from Tita for the pin.
Georgia Wrestling Title: Jimmy Rave (c) vs. Chip Day
Rave actually trained Chip Day, who looks like Miz a little too much for my taste, and it seemed like they had some pretty good chemistry together. Rave has always been really smart knowing the audience he is working for so every time the fans seemed to get bored with what they were doing he would pick up the pace, and both guys even broke out springboard lucha arm drags and dives. Eventually Rave turned a Spinning Headscissors into a small package for the pin.
AR Fox vs. Septimo Dragon
This is where things really began to pick up as two incredible high flyers absolutely let everything loose in their match. I have no clue how WWE, TNA, or at least ROH hasn’t picked up AR Fox or why AAA or CMLL hasn’t brought Dragon in. Fox had a brief tour of DTU last year and after this match with Septimo Dragon I would expect for that promotion to bring him in again for a rematch. Septimo was really skinny at one point but seems to have bulked up a lot in recent years while still managing to be really athletic. They spent the first several minutes just reversing each other and then they took to the skies. Both men hit incredible dives to the floor, multiple dives for each man, and then Septimo missed a 450 Splash. Fox came back with a 450 Splash of his own but Dragon still managed to escape the pin. Eventually Dragon caught Fox with a Slingshot Mexican Destroyer to pick up the win in his U.S. debut.
2/3 Falls Trios Match
Lucha World Order (Lince Dorado, Oraculo, & Serpentico) vs. Bestia 666, “Mr. 450” Jesus de Leon, & Vary Morales
This was our only Trios Match of the night and the only 2/3 Falls Lucha style match and boy, did it ever deliver. Mr. 450 is coming off a huge match with Rey Misterio Jr. a few weeks ago in Puerto Rico and is currently the hottest star in his native Puerto Rico. He has wrestled for TNA, WWE in NXT, and AAA over the past two years and at some point this guy is going to get a big contract. To call him a “heat magnet” would be an understatement. He cut a promo, in Spanish, before the match and I couldn’t tell you a single word of what he said, but I know that it damn sure wasn’t pleasant to the primarily Mexican crowd. Things turned nuclear when he began throwing tortillas into the crowd, a trick Jeff Jarrett has used for awhile, and those tortillas began to be hurled back at him, and before long all kinds of trash was being thrown in the ring. Eventually the ring and ringside was littered with trash while 450 basked in. Finally the other wrestlers and even the ring announcer begged the crowd to stop throwing things so the match could get underway.
There was tons of comedy in the first fall with the LWO constantly making fun of Morales about his feminine looks among other things. The rudos won the first fall pretty quickly after a Muscle Buster/Superkick combo from 450 and Bestia on Serpentico followed by a Flying Elbow Drop from Morales for the pin. The second fall turned into a massive brawl with everybody fighting around ringside, but eventually went back to the ring and things settled down into a fairly long fall. The rudos dominated much of it but the tecnicos made a comeback and broke out all of their high spots and dives. Serpentico and Oraculo hit dual Moonsaults off of one corner onto 450 and Morales while Lince hit a Plancha onto Bestia on the other side. LWO hit an awesome triple 450 Splash onto all of the rudos to win the third fall. After going back and forth in the final fall Bestia and 450 hit a Powerbomb/Diving Neckbreaker combo on Lince for the pin to end the match. It was a really long match and entertaining in about a dozen different ways ranging from brawling to high spots to comedy and everything in between.
Perros del Mal Light Heavyweight Championship
“Cero Miedo” Pentagon Jr. vs. Fenix vs. Drago vs. Tigre del Ring
The main event was a 4-Way pitting 3 Lucha Underground and AAA stars against the Mucha Lucha ATL Champion, Tigre del Ring, to crown the new Perros del Mal Light Heavyweight Championship. PdM even brought in their own referee for the match. Pentagon Jr. may be one of the most charismatic individuals in wrestling and he is over massively. There was literally kids screaming as Pentagon made his entrance. The guy just oozes charisma and is physically just as gifted. He and his brother, Fenix, share incredible chemistry together and they were able to shine for much of the match. Tigre del Ring was in there with bonafide international superstars and it would have been easy for him to have gotten lost and in over his head in the match, but he never showed any of that and more than stood his ground. The other bigger stars sold for him greatly as well and did their best to make him look good. Fenix and Pentagon spent much of the early parts of the match showing off their mat wrestling and submission skills with some terrific mat work and crazy submission holds. Tigre del Ring and Drago took their turn to break out some cool spots and then all four guys went at it all over the place at breakneck speed. Everyone got a chance to shine and down the stretch Drago took out Tigre with a dive and then Fenix took out Drago with a dive of his own. Back in the ring Pentagon hit the Pentagon Driver on Tigre for the pin and to win the title.
After the match Pentagon Jr. cut a promo and put Tigre del Ring over as a worthy opponent and even shook his hand. He then challenge Tigre to “have the balls” to put his title on the line in a Title vs. Title Match in one more fall! Tigre agreed but then Pentagon changed his mind and challenged Tigre to a Title vs. Title “Extreme Lucha” Match at the next Mucha Lucha ATL event which Tigre accepted, and it was confirmed after the match as definitely happening at the next event.
After the show nearly everyone that was featured on the event set up tables outside of the ballroom with their merchandise and considering the lines I would say most did some pretty good business. I bought a couple of merch items and took a few photos with Fenix and Pentagon but I didn’t get to get as much as I wanted or talk to as many of the luchadors as I wanted because of the amount of people. I finally just decided to leave, satisfied with an awesome night, as I didn’t like being in the middle of that big crowd. Pentagon and Fenix, the two guys I most wanted to talk to anyway, were both cool as hell and willing to take pictures with everyone and sign anything. Oddly Drago and Septimo Dragon were the only two that actually had replica masks to sell. Pentagon and Fenix would have made a killing with their masks I think as it looked like Drago sold all of his pretty quickly.
Mucha Lucha ATL runs a top rate independent promotion with great concessions, merchandise, incredible lighting (it almost looked like a laser light show at times), and a ton of security. It was easily the most fun I’ve ever had at a live event and it was pretty interesting how the show meshed modern American Indy wrestling with Lucha Libre for a truly fun experience. I really hope I can make this an annual thing (and maybe even more often than that) despite the horrible Atlanta traffic. One thing that I think could be improved on, though, is that the announcements made over the microphone be done in English and Spanish as it did seem to be a nice mix of people in attendance not just Hispanic individuals. Also, the venue the show is held in is a sort of strip mall with a huge ballroom (where the show took place) inside it but there were no signs whatsoever outside the venue to let you know there was going to be a wrestling show inside. I just walked in and followed where everyone was going, otherwise I had no idea where I was going.
If you are in the Atlanta, or surrounding area, you really have to check out one of these events.