CMLL 81st Anniversary Show

The CMLL 81st Anniversary Show was a major professional wrestling event produced by Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) that took place on September 19, 2014, in CMLL's home arena Arena México in Mexico City, Mexico. The event commemorated the 81st anniversary of the creation of CMLL, which is the oldest professional wrestling promotion in the world. CMLL's anniversary show is their biggest, most important show of the year, comparable to the Super Bowl for the National Football League or WrestleMania for World Wrestling Entertainment. The main event of the show was a best two-out-of-three falls Lucha de Apuestas, or "bet match" between perennial rivals Atlantis and Último Guerrero, with both wrestlers putting their mask on the line. The show featured five more matches. The show made CMLL only the second promotion in the Americas, after WWE, to draw a $1 million gate.

The 2014 CMLL Anniversary Shows commemorated the 81st anniversary of the Mexican professional wrestling company Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (Spanish for "World Wrestling Council"; CMLL) holding their first show on September 22, 1933 by promoter and founder Salvador Lutteroth. CMLL, originally known as Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre ("Mexican Wrestling Company"; EMLL) it would change its name to Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre in 1992 to signal their departure from the National Wrestling Alliance. With the sales of the Jim Crockett Promotions to Ted Turner in 1988 CMLL became the oldest, still-operating wrestling promotion in the world. Over the years CMLL has on occasion held multiple shows to celebrate their anniversary but since 1977 the company has only held one annual show, which is considered the biggest show of the year, CMLL's equivalent of WWE's WrestleMania or their Super Bowl event. CMLL has held their Anniversary show at Arena México in Mexico City, Mexico since 1956, the year the building was completed, over time Arena México earned the nickname "The Cathedral of Lucha Libre" due to it hosting most of CMLL's major events since the building was completed. Traditionally CMLL holds their major events on Friday Nights, replacing their regularly scheduled Super Viernes show.

The event featured six professional wrestling matches with different wrestlers involved in pre-existing scripted feuds, plots and storylines. Wrestlers were portrayed as either heels (referred to as rudos in Mexico, those that portray the "bad guys") or faces (técnicos in Mexico, the "good guy" characters) as they followed a series of tension-building events, which culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches.

The main event match for the 81st Anniversary show was the culmination of a storyline feud between Atlantis and Último Guerrero that had its start several years prior. In 2005 Atlantis was a well established, veteran tecnico who held the CMLL World Tag Team Championship with Blue Panther. During a match on June 25, 2005 against Guerrero and Rey Bucanero Atlantis turned on his partner during the match and cost them the titles. Following the match the now Rudo Atlantis joined up the group Los Guerreros del Infierno ("The Infernal Warriors"), who renamed the group Los Guerreros de la Atlantida ("The Warriors of Atlantis") out of respect for their new co-leader. Atlantis, Último Guerrero and Negro Casas won the CMLL World Trios Championship and held it for 166 days, before losing it on January 1, 2009, to El Hijo del Fantasma, Héctor Garza and La Máscara. On November 2, 2009, Atlantis won his fourth CMLL World Tag Team Championship, this time teaming with Último Guerrero to defeat Místico and Negro Casas for the championship. They later lost the Tag Team championship to Averno and Mephisto on February 1, 2010. In late 2009 it was rumored that Los Guerreros de la Atlantida had split up, but when Atlantis and Último Guerrero teamed up on CMLL's Sin Salida show, to prove that the rumors were not be true. On November 2, 2010, Guerrero and Dragón Rojo, Jr., who replaced an injured Atlantis, defeated Mr. Águila and Héctor Garza to win the CMLL World Tag Team Championship. After the title win, Rojo, Jr. was made an official member of Los Guerreros de la Atlantida. Following Dragón Rojo's induction into the group Atlantis teamed less and less with his team mates. In June, 2011 Atlantis replaced an injured Shocker and teamed with the tecnico team of Delta and Guerrero Maya, Jr. in the Forjando un Ídolo tournament, which they eventually went on to win. After weeks of tension between Atlantis and Último Guerrero, CMLL held a press conference on August 11, where Atlantis officially turned technico and left Los Guerreros de la Atlantida. Guerrero and Atlantis faced each other in a big grudge match on September 23, which saw Atlantis pick up the win. On the August 3 Super Viernes show, Guerrero and Rojo, Jr. lost the CMLL World Tag Team Championship to Atlantis and Diamante Azul, ending their reign at 640 days, the longest reign in the title's history. On November 16, Atlantis announced that he was officially forming a stable named Los Reyes de la Atlantida ("The Kings of Atlantis") with Delta and Guerrero Maya, Jr. to help him combat Los Guerreros del Infierno. On the August 3 Super Viernes show, Atlantis and Diamante Azul defeated Dragón Rojo, Jr. and Último Guerrero to win the CMLL World Tag Team Championship. In early 2013 the long running feud between Atlantis and Último Guerrero came to the forefront of CMLL booking once more. The two were booked for the 2013 Torneo Nacional de Parejas Increibles tournament, forcing the two rivals to team up. Before their qualifying round both Atlantis and Gurrero stated that they would put their differences aside for the sake of the tournament. Atlantis and Guerrero displayed the teamwork they had developed by being partners in Los Guerreros del Atlantida for several years as they defeated the teams of Valiente and Pólvora, Diamante Azul and Euforia and finally Dragón Rojo, Jr. and Niebla Roja to qualify for the finals of the tournament. The finals took place as part of the 2013 Homenaje a Dos Leyendas show and saw La Sombra and Volador, Jr. win the match and the tournament. Following the loss a frustrated Atlantis attacked Último Guerrero and tore his mask apart. Atlantis subsequently made a Luchas de Apuestas challenge to Último Guerrero that was not immediately accepted. The two rivals officially signed the contrat for the mask vs. mask match on March 21, but did not announce an actual date for the match. At the same press conference it was announced that CMLL would commemorate Atlantis' 30 year anniversary as a wrestler with a special Super Viernes show on May 3. During the celebration of Atlantis' 30th anniversary as a wrestler Guerrero appeared after a match to berate Atlantis, which turned out to be a distraction for the real Último Guerrero to attack Atlantis from behind. The two identically dressed Guerreros proceeded to beat up Atlantis and tear his mask apart. Following the match Último Guerrero introduced his brother "Gran Guerrero". The much anticipated and hyped Mask vs. Mask match between Guerrero and Atlantis at the 80th Anniversary Show on September 13 never came to fruition as the two were defeated in a Relevos Suicidas match by La Sombra and Volador Jr., who instead advanced to the Lucha de Apuestas against each other. During the semi-final match of the 2014 Juicio Final show Atlantis and Último Guerrero were once again on opposite sides of the six-man tag team match. In the first fall Guerrero pulled Atlantis' mask and pinned him, when Atlantis tried to use the same tactics in the second fall he was disqualified and lost the match for his team. Following the match Guerrero insisted on CMLL officially announcing the match between the two. Moments later Juan Manual Mar, representing the CMLL executive team came to the ring and announced that the two would finally face off in a Lucha de Apuestas match for their masks at the 81st Anniversary show.

One of the main storylines of 2014 for CMLL was the emergence of Los Ingobernables ("The Ungovernable" or "The Unruly") as a team, a storyline that had driven the main event of CMLL's two previous major shows Juicio Final and Homenaje a Dos Leyendas. The storyline stretched back into 2013 where the rudo Negro Casas began a rivalry with the tecnico Rush, a tecnico that worked a rougher, harder style and often experienced that the fans would boo him during his matches. By the end of 2013 the storyline began to also include Shocker, who turned rudo and sided with Casas in the feud. The storyline evolved over time and Rush, Casa and Shocker all agreed to a three-way match under Lucha de Apuestas ("Bet match") rules where the loser would be shaved bald. Later on Negro Casas dropped out of the match, declaring that he would rather face the winner and let Rush and Shocker fight each other at the 2014 Homenaje a Dos Leyendas show. Rush defeated Shocker, forcing Shocker to be shaved bald after the event and immediately set his sights on Negro Casas. While Rush had displayed less of a tecnico attitude during his matches against especially Shocker and Casas he never turned rudo as such. Following the Homenaje show Rush began teaming more and more with La Sombra, who was also displaying a more rudo attitude, announing themselves as "técnicos diferentes" ("A different kind of good guy"). Soon after they were joined by La Máscara, to become a trio known as Los Indeseables ("The Undesirables"), later renamed Ingobernables ("Ungovernables"). Rush and La Máscara held the CMLL World Tag Team Championship at the time of the Ingorbernables creation, but would later lost the title to Negro Casas and Shocker. Following the title loss the focal point became a Luchas de Apuestas match between Rush and Negro Casas that was the main event of the 2014 Juicio Final show, a match that Rush won by underhanded means, forcing Negro Casas to be shaved bald. Following Juicio Final Los Ingorbernables became positioned to challenge La Peste Negra (Casas, El Felino and Mr. Niebla) for the Mexican National Trios Championship, but on September 6, 2014 CMLL announced that Rush and La Mascara would challenge Negro Casas and Shocker for the CMLL World Tag Team Championship as part of the 81st Anniversary show.

2014 marked the year where Cavernario moved from working primarily in CMLL's secondary venues in Guadalajara, Jalisco to working full-time in Mexico City, CMLL's most important venues, gaining national exposure. His first major exposure on a national level was when he was teamed up with veteran wrestler Mr. Niebla for the 2014 Gran Alternativa ("Great Alternative") tournament, a tournament specifically designed to showcase younger wrestlers. Cavernario and Mr. Niebla was successful and won the tournament and the two worked so well together that Cavernario was invited to join Mr. Niebla's group La Peste Negra. Over the summer of 2014 Cavernario was one of 8 wrestlers competing in CMLL's En Busca de un Ídolo ("In search of an idol") tournament, actually ending up winning the entire tournament when he defeated Hechicero in the finals. Later on Cavernario began a rivalry with Rey Cometa as they found themselves on opposite sides of six-man tag team matches where they would single each other out during the matches. On September 5, 2014 the two faced off in a 1-on-1 Lighting match on CMLL's Super Viernes show, a match that ended with the two wrestling to a very intense 10 minute time limit draw. After the match Rey Cometa challenged his opponent to put his hair on the line in a Luchas de Apuestas match, the young Cavernario almost immediately accepted the challenge and the match was booked for the 81st Anniversary Show as the second Apuestas match of the night. The following day CMLL officially announced that Rey Cometa and Cavernario would meet in the 4th match of the show. Prior to this Apuestas match Rey Cometa had competed in four Apuestas matching, only losing one, where he was forced to unmask. Cavernario had competed in a total of five Apuestas matches, like Rey Cometa only losing one, which had forced him to unmask.> The previously injured tecnico Thunder reappeared in CMLL after a 7-month absence during the semi-main event of the September 5 Super Viernes show, coming to the ring during the third fall of a match between the tecnico team of Atlantis, Dragón Rojo, Jr. and Volador Jr. fighting rivals Gran Guerrero, Rey Escorpión and Último Guerrero. Initially he acted like he was helping the good guys out, only to turn on Volador Jr. attacking him during the match. While the act caused the team of the Guerreros and Rey Escorpión to lose by disqualification it became clear that Último Guerrero was ordering Thunder to continue to attack Volador Jr. even after the bell had rung. The intensity of the attack was underlined by Volador Jr. having to be taken from the arena on a stretcher. The following day it was announced that the returning and now rudo Thunder would team up with Mr. Niebla and Euforia in the third match of the night, facing his newfound victim Volador Jr. who would team up with Máscara Dorada and Valiente in what would be the first in ring meeting between these newfound rivals.

This page was last edited on 1 May 2018, at 20:18.
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