Welcome to the first edition of the digest following my recent vacation. It's been a fun, yet rough, couple of weeks. I lost a dog I've had for over 10 years following an incident that occurred while I was away. I've directly seen states and cities allow their citizens to die because of a lack of action. I've witnessed a lot of awful customer service. Note on that latter statement that it takes a shit load to make me care enough to even complain but it's truly been that bad lately. 

Hello, Peter. Go fuck yourself!

But, even with that and the other shit covered cherries that I've dealt with, there's been a lot of fun and great times. So, lets take that energy and watch some fucking wrestling!

We're going to start in the country I just visited and watch a little bit from the oldest promotion in the world.

CMLL

We start with Mistico and Stuka Jr. in singles action and they start hot on the ramp. Stuka has been really fun since he lost his mask and I've appreciated how he's leaned into being a rudo. This match both continued the relit fire the fans have been showing Mistico and also made both look like the biggest stars in Mexico.

And hell, maybe they are right now.

Quality work all around and a true big match feel on a Tuesday night.

The Devil must be freezing his balls off right about now.

The first fall occurred after Stuka dodged a tope, serving well to put wood on the fire.

Some mask tearing kicked off the second and flowed on while Mistico continued to get his ass kicked for a while. This allowed for the eventual comeback spark and even-up spot to really burn nicely and the fans in attendance ate it all up.

I did, too.

A strong third would have made this a MOTYC and they damn sure came close to giving us exactly that. I'd argue that the first bit felt a bit disjointed but the final half was legit and, as a result, I'd call this a fantastic lucha libre contest that is well worth your time. In short, a borderline-MOYTC.

Next, a caveman and two ungovernables stared on the rudo side of a great trios encounter. The tecnico side of Guerrero Maya Jr, Titan, and Panterita won in a nicely paced spot fest. The micro mascots were involved and the hits just kept coming. This all led up to a killer double stomp/shooting star visual finishes that really nailed the entire thing in.

Both CMLL pulls were enjoyable enough to recommend as the company continues to let weight off and allow for some true quality as a result.


Now, we move to their main competition...

AAA

Komander and Cartwheel main event here and they delivered a PWG worthy spotfest in Mexico. It's been fun watching the two, especially Koms, rise up lately as both continue to elevate themselves through hard work and legit effort.

This was a great battle and perhaps the best AAA match of 2023 so far.

Note that Negro Casas and Dalys jumped from CMLL recently, which I don't believe I've made time to talk about. They clearly didn't do it because of a passion for the content AAA provide because neither seemed to know much of anything about the damn company when asked softball questions.


Last up, we move north for some IMPACT television!

IMPACT

Last time I checked in on Impact was late January and I admittedly felt they were running more programs that disinterested me than they had been recently. I'm sure I'm an annoying twat for this, but one example is that I don't care to see Bully Ray these days and especially not in the main event scene.

That said, there was still glimmers of hope and they had largely earned my trust for their previously mentioned catalog of late.

Let us dig in and see if they got back on track.

Moose, Swann, Callihan, Sabin, Edwards, and Rhino start us with a match titled a Golden Six Shooter match with elimination rules. It's actually shit like this that I really appreciate about this company. Hell, with better booking choices I think this weekly show could be as good as Dynamite more often than not, but we'll just continue to see glimpses of what could be instead of a true solidification of potential.

Anyway, the layout chosen provided this gimmick a fantastic route upward as all six kept the action moving at a strong rate. Story bits throughout, even one with PCO returning, allowed a nice display of past angles that they had largely done right and the elimination order worked well to top it off. I can see this one being a bit polarizing, but I recommend it for sure.

Great stuff!

I'm not sure how I feel about Swann, following the allegations, but I do not know him personally. I know his wife supported him and folks I know that do indeed know him think rather well of him. So, that said, who the fuck am I to say anything negative about the dude? Props to him for the win and I look forward to see him take on Alexander as I move forward with my run through of their TV content that I missed.

The post-match shit was a bit much and very clunky, proving my earlier point.

Next, Bullet Club's Ace and Bey took on KUSHIDA and Knight. I am all for KUSHIDA trying to respark his career and am always for seeing more Bey and Ace, too. I've been very let down with the way they've been booked lately but appreciate the switch. I appreciate Knight too and am excited to see him run with this new tag opportunity. 

Athleticism on point and nice creativity in big spots at times added nicely, making this a great television tag team contest! Old school X-Division vibes.

Building off of that segment in the first Impact pull, they did run an atomico on the same episode. The Design bested Alexander, Swann, Yuya, and Kaz in it for those that might care. Click that link to watch it.

The reason why Aldis is able to pretend he's highly coveted right now slapped Bully Ray in a segment I didn't care to watch. Some might enjoy seeing the slap I suppose or I wouldn't have mentioned it at all. HERE.

HERE is a look at Swann's run of late after dropping the strap to Omega.

Bey and KUSHIDA followed up on that sweet tag match with a singles contest to keep their shit warm. I'm still a huge Bullet Club supporter and really dig the Impact group. Note that MCMG, no Knight, accompanied KUSHDIA out.

Yeah, this was fun. They ran with it and put in for a PPV level battle that would have been a nice X-Division title defense, actually. This brand actually reminds me a lot of what we'd get from MLW if MLW wasn't ran by a complete dipshit.

Look at this shit, by the way!

Yes, please!

WWE fucked over the dude so much that I bet he deep down wishes he hadn't even bothered, even if it meant New Japan felt stale. 

Last for this set, we have Kenny King and Rich Swann.

King really has done well to win me. He's not someone you'll get a MOTYC out of but he's consistently good and does well at what he does. Sometimes, that's enough.

He also reminds me a lot of a dude I really disliked from my time at Dillard's, which isn't his fault of course, but that's not a good thing either way. It's the attitude of his character. Still, I know it's an insult to say someone's a good hand these days for really stupid reasons, but that's what he is and he's doing really well this year in proving that.

Not only did King do well here, but Swann too working well to turn this into a showcase of abilities ahead of the upcoming title match at No Surrender. I'm sure a flashpin turns some off, but it worked for me because it suggested Rich could be a threat in that fashion at the special event.

The post-match angle saw Kenny attacking the #1 contender, Alexander trying to make a save, and then Swann nailing Josh with a superkick kayfabe meant for King. Good shit.

PCO, of course, fucked with Edwards throughout, for those that might be interested in knowing such things.

Yeah, watching IMPACT this way, catching the best of the best and being aware other things are happening in your background, works pretty fucking well. I recommend it. Just go to their YouTube and click the content each week that seems most likely to be enjoyable for you and I think you'll end up appreciating them more.

BTI is also pretty fun if you like recap digest style shows.

A New Japan on AXS and AEW programming catch-up style installment of the digest will serve as a sequel to this entry. Keep an eye out!

Thanks, as always, for reading. Check out the links below for anything that I covered here that caught your eye.

Match Rating Roundup

CMLL

  1. Best 2/3 Falls: Mistico vs Stuka Jr ****
  2. Best 2/3 Falls: Nuevos Ingobernables, Cavernario vs Titan, Panterita del Ring Jr, Guerrero Maya Jr ***3/4

AAA

  1. Komander vs Cartwheel ***3/4

IMPACT

  1. Golden Six Shooter #1 Contender Match ***3/4
  2. Bullet Club vs Time Knights  ***3/4
  3. KUSHIDA vs Bey ***3/4
  4. Swann vs King ***1/2