In the first three installments of this series, we looked at CMLL, AAA, and ELITE Lucha Libre. We return once more now to take a tour of the loaded indie scene, the talents, and some matches to check out. The promotions covered here will include DTU, IWRG, The Crash, Toryumon Mexico, CaraLucha, LLBoom, and Lucha Memes. Be sure that several others exist, and may be covered eventually, but for now those are the ones I will mention.
First up, is Hidalgo’s Desastre Total Ultraviolento (Total Ultraviolent Disaster). The promotion is built, literally, on blood in showcases put on in front of small crowds in dirty buildings. The fans are rabid and passionate, and bring out the best in the performers. The company’s owner, Crazy Boy, aims to give them what they ask for in the form of extreme matches and unique encounters. They are controversial due to the already brutal nature of parts of the country, but have sought ways to continue their tradition while ensuring a public image speaking out on the real violence seen far too often. That they recently attempted ippv, and are claiming more to come, ensures that they will be one of the easiest companies to follow this year if you are so inclined.
IWRG, the International Wrestling Revolution Group, is company the started in the late 90’s in Naucalpan. The Moreno family are at the helm, and have built a nice reputation for themselves. Despite attempts at challenging CMLL and AAA, they are still outside of those leagues, but are an easy suggestion to fans seeking quality. They blend traditional lucha styles with an indie appeal and feature some of the best names in all of Mexico. My only real issue with them is their production values tend to suck at times, but I can look past it most of the time since their shows tend to always have something that rocks.
The Crash is another big name indie fed in Mexico, and their cards make them an easy target for newcomers. Just last year on their anniversary show, Jeff Hardy, Fenix, Mysterio, Cobb (LU’s Matanza), Flamita, and more appeared. If AAA is something you like the idea of, yet dislike their shows of late, Crash could easily be a fit for you. In fact, most of the best names from AAA that have left tend to work their shows soon after.
Forth is Toryumon Mexico, from the legendary Ultimo Dragon. They don’t run a lot of shows, but the ones they do tend to be star-studded events. The companies historical ties with Dragon Gate may also be something you care about. Dragon Mania events are the best way to start watching and, while the last one was disappointing, the names that appeared made it fun for fans. Jun Akiyama, Yohei Nakajima, Ultimo Dragon, Caristico, Octagon, and Mephesto are just a few that worked that show. This promotion is a good thing to keep an eye on if you want all-star shows on occasion.
CaraLucha, a newer fed from Ciudad Neza, has made themselves a household name in record breaking name to diehard fans of lucha libre. They allow the talents, especially low-card CMLL names that don’t get to work hard on their home shows, to show why they are signed to the majors to begin with. This leads to some of their events being depressing, yet enjoyable to see those youths having fun and working hard for the small crowds. Even if most of the matches are from shaky cams, it is worth it to see the action they provide.
It is worth noting that you can copy most of what’s said above and apply it to Lucha Libre Boom and Lucha Memes as well. Indie names and CMLL talents working shows and putting on great events more often than not.
Now that I have covered a small handful of companies that I thought deserved some attention, let’s mention some talent that you should seek as well. Fenix is the easiest to start with, since he is known well to Lucha Underground and AAA fans. Since leaving AAA recently, he has been part of many dream matches on the indie circuit, and will remain one of the most sought after names for the promotions listed above. Flamita is another in a similar situation to Fenix, and also is known well by Dragon Gate fans. Both of them are gifted athletes and can kill it every time they hit the ring. Black Terry is an icon to lucha fans, and his son is very active online, constantly posting videos and photos from shows, but also is a talented wrestler. Despite his age, he works as hard as just about anyone in the world and should never be taken for granted. Imposible, who you may be aware of due to ELITE, is one of the best names on the scene as well, and has been working hard as the IWRG Intercontinental Middleweight Champ. Laredo Kid, one of the best flyers in the world, is another. He is still young, 30 years old, and tends to bring out the best in most that he works with. You can also check him out in AAA, but his work on smaller shows tend to be better. Jack Evans, one of the most world traveled wrestlers, is now working a lot of these shows too since being canned by AAA. LA Park, the original La Parka, still works a lot and can’t go without mention. Lastly, go watch Golden Magic, Badido, Trauma I, Canis Lupus, Emperador Azteca, and Hijo de LA Park. I’d talk about others, but I fear boredom will set it for you readers so just watch them and go from there and decide who your own favorites are.
If you want a good place to start, a few matches from last year to check out would be Aero Boy vs Black Terry in a hair vs mask match, the Copa Higher Power contest, Imposible’s title matches against Freelance and Metaleon, and the Trauma I vs Canis Lupus mask vs mask fight. If you have trouble finding any of those, contact me. Keep in mind that, on my YouTube channel (link below), I post a weekly series that features lucha libre matches that you should watch. The aim of the show is to fulfill your lucha needs, especially if you want just one show to watch and don’t have time to watch more than that. The episodes are usually under an hour long.
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Special mention to Eric Mutter, who posts regularly at http://hubpages.com/@ericmutter, for helping keep this column on track.