Aro Lucha

Aro Lucha is a new Nashville based wrestling promotion that per their social media accounts is defined as High-Energy Lucha Libre for the entire family. They hosted their first show tonight at the Nashville State Fairgrounds, in front of a sold out crowd. The event was taped, but according to an article posted in The Tennessean it will be used for marketing and external use. So it is unlikely that anyone who wasn’t there will actually see the event in its entirety, but for those of you with a few minutes to kill, I’ll do my best to do a quick review of tonight’s show. Reminder, Lucha Libre style wrestling is not my forte, and I would like to preface this review by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed the event and have a newfound respect for their art.

To start the show, they play a video from earlier today showing Rey Mysterio getting attacked by John Morrison and Rush. Mysterio comes out to address the situation and calls out his attackers. Not very smart, because they come out and proceed to use the numbers game to their advantage and beat down Mysterio. Then out of no where Penta El Zero M steps in to stop the beating and the segment ends with the two luchas standing tall and challenging Morrison and Rush to match later tonight.

 

The Mecha Wolf Mr. 450 vs Willie Mack

Cool entrance look for Mr. 450 with a fur shawl that was very John Snow esc and a wolf mask with glowing eyes. He takes the mask off to reveal a legit grill. All right then.

The two lock up, and Willie is throwing down on the chops. The crowd immediately gets into it and starts chanting one more time. When Mr. 450 regains control of the match and throws Willie into the corner, he starts delivering some chops of his own. Then in true heel fashion he turns to the crowd and yells, “one more time is that what you want.”

As the match continues the athleticism of both wrestlers is really highlighted. Despite his size Willie is extremely quick and agile. It reminded me a bit of a taller KO. Willie seemed to fully embrace the Lucha wrestling style despite his size, because he was all over the ropes. The ropes are not always kind to big guys, and Mr. 450 gave him a quick lesson in that. Willie received a leg sweep from the top rope and a kick to the back on his way down courtesy of Mr. 450. The crowd gets behind Willie, and their enthusiasm helps him avoid a beautiful moonsault by Mr. 450.

Willie gains control of the match. He hits a huge leg drop, traps 450 in the corner, and delivers what I can only describe as a crazy variation on a rolling sinton. He followed it up with a Samoan drop, but it’s only good for a two count. 450 manages to knock Willie out of the ring, and in true lucha fashion goes diving through the ropes to drive Willie into the barricade. After getting Willie back in the ring, 450 lands a tornado DDT, but Willie kicks out. 450 heads to the top rope, and Willie recovers enough to stop the attack and knock 450 out of the ring.

The big man embraces the lucha and launches himself over the ropes with a front flip to take out 450.

The two lock up some more. 450 hits Willie with a nice super kick, but Willie recovers quickly. They exchange some more great chops before Willie delivers a stunner like move and heads to the top rope. Willie drops a huge Five Star Frog Splash to get the pin-fall victory!  This was honestly one of the best most complete matches of the night.

 

Demus vs Mascarita Dorada

Out of nowhere a juggalo looking wrestler begins chasing a tiny luchador through the crowd directly in front of us. The juggalo tosses the luchador over the barricade and into the ring and a match ensues. I find out that the juggalo wrestler is actually Demus, and the tiny luchador is none other than Mascarita Dorada, aka El Torito.

This match was extremely short, but it was exciting while it lasted. Mascarita Dorada hit his highflying lucha moves, and it was very reminiscent of him working with CM Punk in the 2014 Royal Rumble. Dorada even landed a huge hurricanrana on Demus from the top rope to outside the ring. Despite Demus having the size advantage, he was ultimately no match for the speed and highflying of Mascarita Dorada.

Maybe I’m in the minority, but seeing this match really reminded me how much I enjoyed seeing El Torito on WWE. I wish that they could have found a way to continue utilizing him, because it was always a fun and entertaining segment when he was on. I’m glad to see that he is still wrestling and that his athleticism is being better highlighted.

 

Keyra & Lacey Lane vs Vanilla Vargas & Taya

A glammed up Reby Hardy makes her way to the ring and announces that she is essentially running the women’s division. The following tag team match will determine who will compete next week for the women’s championship, but there are some weird stipulations on this match. According to Reby, the person who lands the pin-fall will compete against the person from the losing team that avoids the pin-fall for the title. There was no official announcement made after the match to say who would be competing for the title, so I don’t really know. Is this a normal thing? I thought it was odd and worth noting obviously, because you’re reading it here.

There was solid work in this match, even though it was not very long. Taya’s size made her look more dominant than the other girls initially. Despite not being able to point out a single thing specifically, Lacey Lane stood out the most to me, because she just looked comfortable and extremely agile in the ring. Vanilla had a big spot where she used the ropes to go over the top and deliver a nice elbow drop. Keyra was the only female in the match rocking a Lucha libre mask, and for some reason it made me more drawn to her than the other girls. I think it made me anxious to see how much lucha style wrestling she would use. While there wasn’t anything to note on that, she did hit Vanilla with a massive suplex that resulted in Vanilla landing a little high on her neck. It was one of those bumps that make you suck in your breath and wait for the person to move before you can let out the breath. Right after that Keyra and Lacey both covered her for the victory, and she appeared to be fine after the match.

 

Surprise Match: Trey Miguel vs James Strom (Neither star was billed for the event)

The Fresh Prince of Mid Air, Trey Miguel came out and issued an open challenge to anyone in Nashville as he proclaimed that there was no talent in Nashville. He could beat anyone put in front of him. Little did he know, local boy James Storm was within earshot and happy to oblige Miguel’s challenge. The crowd immediately went crazy for the hometown guy, and a Cowboy chant erupted before he could even make it to the ring. Miguel did a great job selling his frustration with the situation he found himself in.

Right away Storm uses his size to his advantage and begins manhandling Miguel. Storm maintains control of the match until early, but Miguel breaks free long enough to show us why he is known as the Fresh Prince of mid air. After knocking storm out of the ring, Miguel flips over the corner turnbuckle and tackles Storm into the barricade. Once back in the ring, Miguel if I may quote The Great Jim Ross, began stomping a mudhole in Storm. He even through in an elbow drop and a standing back flip for good measure before going for the pin. Storm kicks out, and Miguel throws a bit of a tantrum at not getting a three count.

An injured Storm finds it difficult to keep pace with the quickness of Miguel, and he finds himself at the wrong end of double knees from the top rope. The crowd begins chanting for their “Cowboy” to save the day, and with the crowd behind him he musters the strength to fight back. Storm lands a spinning Razor’s Edge, but it only warrants a 2 count. He continues to attack Miguel and delivers a little sweet chin music to the Prince before covering him for the win. This was a solid match, and I look forward to seeing more of Trey Miguel in the future.

 

Sammy Guevara vs MVP

MVP makes his way to the ring first, and he attacks Sammy as he stands on the apron before entering the ring. Regardless, the bell rings and the match begins. Sammy makes his way to the ropes to gain some leverage on the big man. He then delivers a nice Pele’ kick to gain a momentary advantage. The size of MVP will be hard for Sammy to match, and MVP uses it to quickly slow the pace of the match. As I watch, I’m thinking Sammy is doing a great job selling this match. Not too over the top, but still reflecting the beating he’s taking.

MVP delivers a massive clothesline that results in Sammy turning a one and a half flip. The crowd rallies behind Sammy, and he finds his way back to his only chance for a win, the ropes. Sammy delivers four highflying flips over the ropes one right after another to take control of the match. MVP is reeling as Sammy heads back to the ropes, and in a last ditch effort MVP shoves the ref into the path of Sammy’s flying double knees. The bell is rung immediately, and Sammy wins by disqualification.

There wasn’t anything wrong with this match. It was a very typical heel and face matchup, and both guys delivered accordingly. I personally would have preferred a pairing that allowed Sammy’s athleticism to be better highlighted, but what do I know about booking wrestling matches. I think I just wanted more Sammy and less MVP.

 

6-Man Tag:  Jack Edwards, Hurricane Helms, & Maximo vs Garza Jr., La Mascara, & Daga

This match was entertaining, and I was honestly too distracted watching it to take many notes. All the wrestlers were given an opportunity to display their talents, and it maintained a good rhythm throughout. I am a fan of good striking, and La Mascara was delivering some awesome kicks. Edwards was selling like crazy, and he took a massive kick to the face as he was flipping off the ropes. He did manage to land a double neckbrecker from the ropes to subdue his opponents long enough to manage a tag.

For those of you that don’t know, Maximo is currently portraying a flamboyantly out character rocking a shirt that said kiss me over his onesie. All members of the opposing team pleaded for Maximo not to be tagged in, but it was no use. Maximo was tagged in, and he pranced around the ring after his foes looking for a kiss before his attack. Despite the silliness of this gimmick, Maximo is a good wrestler, and he hit a beautiful hurricanrana along with some other lucha inspired moves. The match ends once Maximo delivers a loving kiss to Daga followed by a roll up. I know it sounds silly, and I didn’t do it justice. Maximo even got a kiss from a lady in the crowd afterwards.

 

Main Event: Rey Mysterio & Penta Cero M. vs Rush & John Hennigan

I want to start this match review by apologizing for it. Immediately after the match started, the ref seemed to lose all control. There was fighting in the ring and outside the ring at the same time for the first 5-10 minutes of the match. Obviously this makes it hard to see everything and even harder to take notes while watching.

All four guys lock up. Rush tosses Rey outside the ring, and they continue to fight there while PCM and Hennigan duke it out inside the ring. Rush and Hennigan are dominating the early part of the match. The two then switch dance partners, and Rush takes a chair to PCM. At this point it becomes clear that they want to take out PCM, and focus their combined efforts on the destruction of Rey Mysterio.   Lucha chants ring through the crowd, as PCM and Mysterio try to gain control of the match. PCM delivers a nice forearm that Mysterio follows up with a hurricanrana. Both heels find themselves outside the ring, so PCM launches Mysterio over the ropes to take out both Rush and Hennigan. PCM joins everyone outside the ring, and he brought along a chair to introduce to both his foes.

Rush and PCM make their way back into the ring, and they have a nice round of chop swapping as Mysterio is trying to recompose himself outside the ring. Rush finds himself on the receiving end of a couple sling blades before Hennigan rejoins the fight. Mysterio takes him out and tries to finish the match with a leg drop, but Rush breaks things up. Hennigan hits Mysterio with a beautiful standing back flip. A sí chant erupts from the crowd, and the luchas make their move. A pair of standing double drop kicks put Rush and Hennigan in perfect position for a 619. They both manage to move out of the way, but Mysterio must follow through on his earlier promise to the crowd that they would see a 619 tonight. He pulls Hennigan into position and delivers on his 619 promise. Not to be outdone, PCM hits what I can only describe as a sunset flip power bomb off the top rope, and Mysterio lands a frog splash on Hennigan to get the win. (You can see the final sequence here.)

 

Wrap up:

Mysterio grabs the microphone and goes to thank the crowd, and he mistakenly says Memphis instead of Nashville. He genuinely seemed to feel bad about that, and joked that he was hit in the head too many times in Memphis the night before. Penta Cero M. comes out and interrupts to announce to the crowd that its Mysterio’s birthday. Everyone from the back enters the ring and everyone joins in to sing happy birthday.

I had a great time at my first Lucha show, and I sincerely hope that Aro Lucha is a success. Maybe its because I had no emotional attachment to the performers prior to the show, but I had no issues with the show. Nothing about it was disappointing, unless maybe you were one of the people that got turned away, because it sold out. It was full of content and never really a dull moment. I look forward to my next Aro Lucha Show!

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