Veteran luchadors teaming with young up-and-comers was the theme of an annual CMLL tournament that began at Arena Mexico on Friday night in Mexico City.
In the A Block of the Gran Alternativa tournament, Ultimo Guerrero teamed with Sanson to win the block and advance to the finals.
The tournament gave the show a different structure than a typical card seen at the “Cathedral of Lucha Libre,” which is normally filled with trios matches. This show only had a pair of trios bouts to go along with a lightning match on the undercard, as well as a plethora of tag team matches for the tournament.
The card was likely too stacked with bouts, leaving a need to rush through matches in order to finish on time.
The 2017 Alternativa tournament began with a battle royal that determined the order of tag matches in the A Block. The idea of the tourney is to help establish the younger luchadors as stars in order to move them up the cards. The success of such varies.
An angle in one of the undercard trios matches saw a luchador turn on his teammate in a bid to join Los Ingobernables. He was rebuffed and beaten down by a father and son duo.
The show itself opened with a minis tag match.
Shockercito & Stukita defeated Mercurio & Pequeno Violencia
In the first fall, Stukita splashed and pinned Mercurio before Shockercito submitted Violencia with an armbar. The rudos evened the score in the second fall as Mercurio pinned Stukita after a spike piledriver and Violencia pinned Stukita after an assisted neckbreaker.
For the deciding third fall, Stukita did a trifecta of moonsaults to pin Violencia and Shockercito pinned Mercurio upon doing a sunset flip.
Fuego, Drone & captain Guerrero Maya Jr. (w/ KeMonito) defeated Disturbio, Misterioso Jr. & captain Virus
Early on in the first fall, mat wrestling and grappling gave way to a few high spots. The rudos singled out Guerrero Maya to triple-team him, and Disturbio charged into a corner with a running double knee strike on him. Disturbio then pinned the tecnico team captain for the rudos to gain the first fall.
The rudos continued to dominate into the second fall until the tecnicos fired up into a comeback started by Fuego. Drone did a handstand on the top rope into a falling double knee strike to pin Misterioso, while Guerrero Maya springboarded into a Nestea Plunge of sorts to score a pin on Disturbio.
With the teams evening the falls at one apiece, the match reset in a lead-up to the pace quickening and a parade of high spots that concluded the third fall. Guerrero Maya used a double-underhook version of an ushigoroshi and covered Virus. With a team captain pinning the opposing captain, the tecnicos won the match with that pinfall.
Dragon Rojo defeated Rey Cometa
This was a lightning match, meaning one fall with a ten-minute time limit. Dragon Rojo fired a musket during his entrance as he has before, which continues to be unintentionally hilarious every week because of the calamity that ensues. The impact of the blast this week inadvertently knocked off his large hat from atop his own head.
The match itself was rushed, starting a trend of matches being short on time the rest of the night. Cometa flew through the ropes into a tope suicida early on. Rojo missed a double foot stomp off the top rope, then Cometa followed up by flipping over the ropes into a senton.
Back in the ring with several exchanges, Cometa got a near fall from a moonsault press. Cometa missed on an attempted senton bomb moments later, allowing Dragon Rojo to regroup and deliver a double foot stomp off the top. Rojo then pinned Cometa at about the six-minute mark.
Hechicero, Pierroth & captain Rush defeated Vangellys, Rey Bucanero (w/ La Comandante) & captain Negro Casas (w/ El Perico Zacarias)
In a rudos against rudos match, the team of Los Ingobernables and Hechicero won in two straight falls. The story of the match was Vangellys turning on Casas in a bid to join the Los Ingobernables stable.
Except for him briefly doing a spot in the first fall, Vangellys mainly just loitered around ringside. He otherwise stayed out of the way until his team’s comeback when he turned on his teammate, Negro Casas.
Los Ingobernables dominated from the outset as father and son teamed up on Casas. Pierroth gave Casas a powerslam to pin the team captain, ending a short first fall.
The second fall had much of the same dominance by Los Ingobernables and Hechicero. Casas and Bucanero were finally able to rally into a comeback when the treacherous act occurred. Vangellys suddenly struck Casas and began pummeling him before giving him a brainbuster. Pierroth leapt into a senton and pinned Casas to win the second fall with a team sweeping their opponents.
The angle continued afterwards as Vangellys said he turned on Casas because he wanted to join Los Ingobernables. Pierroth rejected him, so Vangellys shot in for an attack. Rush jumped in to help his father as Hechicero also joined in for a beatdown on Vangellys.
The beating continued at ringside where Rush grabbed cups of beer and threw it on Vangellys as he lay prone on the floor. Rush hopped the barricade and tried to swipe another beer, only to get drenched in beer as spectators doused the rudo.
Gran Alternativa tournament battle royal
Efinge and Cuatrero were the sole survivors.
All of the Dinamitas involved entered together and jumped the tecnicos at the start of the battle royal. While ideally a free-for-all, it was essentially a brawl between rudos and tecnicos with over the top rope eliminations that ended with two sole survivors. Arguably, it was completely unnecessary and further cluttered the card with needless matches. The storyline reasoning was the battle royal determined the order of the tag team matches in the tournament.
Pegasso was the first eliminated, then Star Jr. soon followed. Espanto Jr. was eliminated next. Sanson was knocked off the apron and eliminated. Stigma climbed up the ropes, only to get shoved out and eliminated. Esfinge then shoved Forastero over the ropes. That left Esfinge and Cuatrero as the sole survivors.
Those results seeded the order of the tournament tag bouts.
Opening round tournament matches —
Mistico & Star Jr. defeated Blue Panther & Pegasso
Star Jr. pinned Blue Panther with a la magistral cradle and Mistico submitted Pegasso with La Mistica.
Ultimo Guerrero & Sanson defeated Kraneo (w/ Mije) & Espanto Jr.
Sanson executed a guillotine knee drop to pin Kraneo while Guerrero submitted Espanto with Pulpo Guerrero.
Shocker & Forastero defeated Titan & Stigma
Forastero submitted Titan with a cross-armbreaker. Shocker catapulted Stigma in the air for Forastero to catch and powerbomb him. To finish him off, Forastero leapt off the top rope into a senton bomb. Shocker then stood over Stigma and pinned him with only one foot covering him.
Atlantis & Esfinge defeated Mascara Ano 2000 & Cuatrero
Cuatrero tried to save Mascara Ano but inadvertently landed on him with a senton. Esfinge then covered Mascara Ano as Atlantis cradled Cuatrero for dual pinfalls.
Tournament quarterfinals —
Ultimo Guerrero & Sanson defeated Mistico & Star Jr.
Sanson hoisted Mistico into a torture rack and then spun him around into a sit-out powerbomb. Sanson pinned Mistico as Guerrero submitted Star Jr. This was better than the opening round matches, with more heat and intensity.
Atlantis & Esfinge defeated Shocker & Forastero
Atlantis cradled Forastero and Esfinge also cradled Shocker for simultaneous pinfalls in a short match.
Tournament semifinal —
Ultimo Guerrero & Sanson defeated Atlantis & Esfinge to advance to the finals of Torneo La Gran Alternativa 2017
Sanson pinned Atlantis via a victory roll. Guerrero pinned Esfinge after delivering the Guerrero Special (reverse superplex). Ultimo Guerrero & Sanson won the A Block and they now await the finals.
The Gran Alternativa tournament continues next Friday night in Arena Mexico with the B Block. Plus, Dragon Lee and Volador Jr. return to Arena Mexico after competing in the Best of the Super Juniors.
The B Block has the following teams:
Caristico & Soberano
Mephisto & Raziel
Volador Jr. & Flyer
Negro Casas & Canelo Casas
Niebla Roja & Drone
El Valiente & Astral
Angel de Oro & Oro Jr.
Pierroth & Akuma
The lineup for the rest of the card next Friday night:
Mistico, Atlantis & Dragon Lee vs. Ultimo Guerrero, Euforia & Gran Guerrero
Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Misterioso Jr. in a lightning match
Estrellita, Marcela & Princesa Sugehit vs. Dalys, Zeuxis & Amapola
Principe Diamante & Robin vs. Metalico & Arkangel