I'm a big sports fan who loves Mexican lucha libre and hockey.
It’s been four days since the lucha libre world was turned upside down by the trashing of Último Guerrero’s car by Máximo Sexy, La Máscara, Psycho Clown and the rest of the Alvarado family. Seeing as we’ve already covered every angle for that (minus how Bobby Villa was somehow involved), it’s time to move onto the next discussion point; who will be the next CMLL World Heavyweight and CMLL World Light Heavyweight champions? Yes, with all the chaos going on, you may have forgotten that Máximo and La Máscara were Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight champs respectively, something that’s no longer the case now they’ve been kicked out of the door. So there will definitely be new champions sometime soon (CMLL has already announced there will be tournaments for both belts) and that means there’s no ample opportunity to break down just who should be the next guys to hold these titles.
Perhaps you’re thinking that’s a waste of time seeing as CMLL treats these titles the same way LeBron James treated Cleveland in 2010. My answer would be…probably, but so what? It’s something to talk about, we need something to talk about that isn’t broken down sports cars and when is it not fun to get excited over new champions? Plus, the CMLL World Heavyweight Championship candidates (while not as deep as the Light Heavyweight field) also has a no brainer pick that I really feel must be shared before CMLL goes and bungles the whole thing. And that’s why we’re here. So with that, let’s put the Light Heavyweight Championship to the side for now and find out who is worthy of being the next CMLL World Heavyweight Champion.
You know the pickings are slim when the list begins with a guy who only made it because the other choices were Mr. Niebla (a guy who I wouldn’t trust to remain sober for five hours, let alone trust to hold a title) and L.A. Park (who doesn’t even work for CMLL). Poor Kráneo. In fairness, he’s a reasonably entertaining dude and can actually work in the ring when called upon. But is he a guy I’m going to depend on to give me two or three really strong championship matches a year like the last guy was? No chance. Thus he makes the list only because the other bottom feeders were even worse choices than him and because he fits the weight requirement. Sorry big man; at least you can still dance with Mije to that awful song. And really, that might be preferable.
9. Blue Panther Jr.
As happy as I am to put Junior on this list, he’s really only on it because the pickings are slim. But he does fit the requirements; he’s certainly big enough, he has the family connections to get consideration and (at least in my opinion) he’s been improving at a healthy rate since last year. Enough to be made a champion? Dear Grodd no. But he has enough to be in contention, and maybe even further along if CMLL begins to get choosy with the requirements.
8. Diamante Azul
If the last luchador on the list didn’t have Rob Viper gnawing at the few hairs left on his head, this one will. Actually this one will for pretty much everyone, despite the fact that Diamante Azul really isn’t that bad! Sure he’s not perfect, but have you seen that Monkey Flip of his? MONEY! There’s talent there with Diamante Azul and no amount of CMLL forcing him to try and make Pierroth look good will convince me otherwise. That said the only reason I have him on this list is because he’s big and because he’s a star CMLL likes. Diamante may not be as bad as you think, but he’s also not as good as the rest of the guys on this list and, more importantly, wouldn’t do as good of business as some of the guys at the top of this list.
Any list involving a Heavyweight or Light Heavyweight Champion that doesn’t feature Hechicero isn’t a true list. You’re gorram right I said it. As an in ring performer, few (if any) of the dudes on this list can deliver the total package of technical wrestling, power wrestling and even high flying that Hechicero can. That’s knock on the other dudes; it’s just that Hechicero is that damn good. Unfortunately CMLL doesn’t seem to think as highly of him as the rest of us do, he wouldn’t bring as much heat as some of the other guys on this list and he already has a title in CMLL (the NWA World Historic Light Heavyweight Championship). Sure there have been instances of guys holding multiple titles at various points in CMLL, but those guys are generally named La Sombra, Volador Jr. and Último Guerrero. You know, the big guns. Poor Hechicero is still at best a mid tier guy in CMLL’s eyes, so the only chance he has of winning is if someone in the front office changes their mind and quickly.
6. El Terrible
This seems to be the favorite in the clubhouse for many people to win. I’m dubious, simply because there’s a multitude of better choices for CMLL to make and because Terrible already had one really, REALLY long reign as CMLL Heavyweight Champ before losing it to Máximo. That said I wouldn’t shed a tear if Terrible got it back. The man remains one of CMLL’s best undiscovered luchadors (I think we all cheered when he got that ROH spot, if only because people can finally notice him) who will give you a good championship match every time he goes out there. You can’t go wrong with Terrible as champ; I just happen to believe there are dudes you could hit a home run with more easily than him.
5. Marco Corleone
As if Terrible being at number six wasn’t enough, you can clearly see we’ve reached the point of the list where the candidates are much better than earlier. That makes it all the more sadder that Marco won’t get a look because he’s a foreigner. The guy has it all; he’s dependable in the ring, he’s loyal to CMLL, he’s more over with the female audience than Robert Pattison at a Twilight fan convention, and he’s also a crossover star in Mexico thanks to his acting gigs. Hell who knows; Marco being champion may even draw the American wrestling fan or two who remembers that he was part of the Natural Born Thrillers and almost was the final member of Evolution. I’m sure CMLL will play it dumb and not give Marco enough consideration (as they never do), but if there was a time to do it, it be now. You’re not getting much better options for your next champion than Marco; well other than the next four guys of course!
I wrestled with putting Rush higher or lower here because the situation with him is that volatile. On the one hand, giving him the title when it’s quite possible he could bolt and join La Máscara any day now would be putting CMLL back at square one. On the other hand, giving the title may also be the key to keeping Rush happy (why he’d care about the title is beyond me but hey, stranger things have happened), which thus leads to keeping Rush in CMLL. Either way you slice it, Rush is still the best rudo in CMLL today (when he wants to be) and one of the most unpredictable and exciting workers in the company (when he wants to be). Putting the title on him will make the title seem more important when it’s on the line, it’ll give Rush something to do and it’ll have us all on the edge of our seats, even if that’s mostly because Rush could walk out or get suspended at any time. And who doesn’t love chaos, right?
3. Último Guerrero
Maybe some people will be surprised to see the UG’s name on here but they shouldn’t. This makes all the sense in the world to me. UG is a former champion, he’s a huge draw, he’ll have good (albeit sometimes predictable) matches as champion and he’s on the gorram booking committee. How can he not be a favorite? And oh yeah, there’s also the high possibility that UG and Paco Alonso will want to stick to Máximo, La Máscara and the Alvarado family, and what better way of doing that then giving Máximo’s championship that he never lost to the guy who got him fired? It doesn’t even matter if Máximo doesn’t give a shit about the belt (he likely doesn’t); Paco is that vindictive enough to do something like that and you know UG is going to want some form of payback (and rightfully so). Put that altogether and I like the chances of this happening.
This would be like giving Marco the championship, only the female fans wouldn’t go as crazy and Euforia would somehow be even more dependable. Aside from the number one guy and maybe UG due to his circumstances, I can’t think of a guy who’s a better option for the title and a more deserving one. All Euforia does every week is work his ass off, make everyone he works with look like a superstar and get little credit for it despite being one of the best guys CMLL has and certainly one of the best base wrestlers in the world. Isn’t it time he got rewarded for something? He wouldn’t lose the audience, he’s got the size and you know every single title match he has is going to be quality because nothing Euforia does is less than very good. I think he’d make an excellent champion, and hopefully CMLL keeps that in mind for the next time around.
1. Sam Adonis
I said at the beginning of the column that the number one guy was a no brainer and I’ll say it again now. With all due respect to the rest of the guys on this list, Sam Adonis is the best choice and the only choice to be the next CMLL World Heavyweight Champion and it’s frankly not even close. Yes he’s a foreigner, yes CMLL hasn’t really given him a chance to stretch his legs in singles action yet but so what; Have you seen the heat he gets?! The amount of boos Sam gets when he comes out in Arena Mexico, Arena Puebla, Arena Coliseo, Arena Wherever, who cares; it’s always loud, it’s always a noticeable reaction (and also the right kind of rudo/heel reaction) and it always makes the match better. You take all of that and then put the Heavyweight Title on a guy getting heat like that and my goodness the potential is unlimited. Even if Sam only defended the title every now and again (as I expect whoever wins the title will), every defense would be a huge deal if only because it feature (more than likely) the heroic Mexican technico trying to take the title off the Trump supporting gringo from America. You know what we call that scenario? Winning. Throw in the fact that Sam has gotten extensive coverage here in the states and I don’t know what more I can say to convince you. The only choice for the next CMLL Heavyweight Champion is Sam Adonis. Do it Paco; give him the belt and let Arena Mexico do the rest.
Martin on May 23, 2017:
Sam Adonis is a GREAT choice, strike while the iron is hot CMLL!!
I would not be disappointed in Corleone or Euforia, something new.