Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre
|Formerly||Empresa Mexicana de la Lucha Libre
Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre co.ltd (CMLL; Spanish pronunciation: [konˈseho munˈdial de ˈlutcha ˈlibɾe], "World Wrestling Council") is a lucha libre free-style professional wrestling promotion based in Mexico City while running cards in Guadalajara, Puebla and elsewhere in central and southern Mexico. The promotion is also referred to by its previous name Empresa Mexicana de la Lucha Libre (EMLL) (Mexican Wrestling Enterprise). Founded in 1933, it is currently the world's oldest pro wrestling promotion still in existence.
The promotion was founded by "The Father of Lucha Libre" Salvador Lutteroth Gonzales when he ran a card under the banner of EMLL on September 21, 1933. The promotion flourished and quickly became the premier spot for workers. If wrestlers were big in Mexico City, they were considered stars throughout Mexico. With stars like El Santo, Bobby Bonales, Tarzán Lopez, Cavernario Galindo and Gory Guerrero (father of Eddie Guerrero), "La Empresa" was at the forefront of the Lucha Libre movement and for the next 50 years, EMLL would continue its place as the leader. In the 1970s, Lutteroth left the company in the hands of his son Chavo, but the company weakened with Ray Mendoza along with a few promoters breaking off and forming the Universal Wrestling Association. UWA ran in Mexico City and in nearby Naucalpan against EMLL. UWA would be a tremendous force for 15 years but due to a weakening talent pool and affiliates, it died in the 1990s. EMLL joined the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) as its Mexican affiliate as NWA-EMLL. In time, it pulled out in the 1980s due to promoter disunity, and the NWA's losing battle to stave off the World Wrestling Federation's expansion and consolidation of the U.S. wrestling scene. At this time, it changed its name to Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre to make itself sound more international. At the start of the 1990s the company began appearing on Televisa. This led to a big boom in business due to national television exposure (before this, magazines were the sole medium of Lucha Libre). After the initial boom, long time booker Antonio Peña broke off and formed his own promotion, Asistencia Asesoría y Administración, taking many of the young talent with him. AAA took the lead for several years but when the Mexican economy declined in the mid-1990s, AAA scaled-back and CMLL started re-building with the famous El Hijo del Santo vs. Negro Casas feud where Santo shocked the world by turning heel when he dressed up like Negro Casas' brother Felino and attacked him. CMLL followed this up by pushing younger stars, leading to another boom period. On March 16, 2010, a video was posted on YouTube featuring an interview David Marquez had with NWA Executive Director and Legal Counsel Robert Trobich. Trobich announced that CMLL did not have permission to use the NWA trademark. The rights to usage of the NWA trademark in Mexico is now held by NWA Mexico, represented by Blue Demon, Jr. From 2007 to 2009, CMLL had a working relationship with American promotion Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, which saw CMLL's Averno, Rey Bucanero, Último Guerrero and Volador, Jr. winning the 2008 TNA World X Cup and TNA worker Alex Shelley winning the 2008 CMLL International Grand Prix. In 2008, CMLL established a working relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling as part of "G-1 World", several wrestlers have since toured between the two companies winning titles, including Místico winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship and Jushin Thunder Liger winning the CMLL Universal Championship. Since 2011, the two promotions have annually co-promoted events in Japan, under the name Fantasticamania. In 2011, CMLL established a working relationship with Japanese women's promotion Universal Woman's Pro Wrestling Reina and announced that the two promotions would create a new championship for women who have been in the business for less than ten years, called the CMLL-Reina International Junior Championship. This was later followed by the CMLL-Reina International Championship.
On September 19, 2014, CMLL became only the second promotion in the Americas, after WWE, to draw a $1 million gate with their 81st Anniversary Show, headlined by a Mask vs. Mask match between Atlantis and Último Guerrero.
Style and television
Most CMLL events are held in the famous Arena Mexico in Mexico City, with the biggest weekly show being the Friday night Super Viernes ("Super Friday") show. Of all the major promotions in the world, CMLL is one of the most conservative. Matches with blood are not broadcast and, other than an annual cage match, specialty matches such as ladder matches are never used.
CMLL's main programming, hosted by Alfonso Morales, Leobardo Magadan and Miguel Linares, is broadcast regularly on Televisa in Mexico, on LATV in the United States, and formerly on Telelatino in Canada and The Wrestling Channel in the United Kingdom. CMLL also had a syndicated show called "Sin Limite de Tiempo" ("with no time limit") which shows matches from Arena Coliseo shows and matches they could not fit onto the regular broadcast. It aired in Los Angeles on KWHY and Also Air in San Francisco on KEMO-TV. This show was followed up by "Guerreros del Ring" on Canal 52MX. Also, Spanish-language American sports channel Fox Sports en Español recently started broadcasting CMLL programming.<citation needed> Recently CMLL also added the Mexican network Cadena Tres to its list of networks airing CMLL Wrestling. Galavision began airing CMLL wrestling in the spring of 2011. Galavision shows only a one-hour version while LATV has shown a two-hour version. CMLL shows have been available in the United Kingdom via BT Vision's download service. As of July 29, 2010 54 episodes of CMLL wrestling is available to view. The first show featured was from CMLL's 75th Anniversary Show from 2008. In Germany you can follow CMLL through online video and Web-2.0 media platform Sevenload.
Each year CMLL promotes a number of signature events, some shown as pay-per-view events and others shown on regular television. Over the last couple of years CMLL have held three regular events each year and a number of one off, special events. The Major show, shown in order of when they happen during the year, include:
|Event||Next/Most recent date||Notes|
|Fantasticamania||January 13, 2015||Shows co-produced with New Japan Pro Wrestling, held in Japan in January each year.|
|La Hora Cero||Not since 2009||A pay-per-view held on January 11, 2009. No indications of it becoming an annual event|
|Homenaje a Dos Leyendas||March 20, 2015||Annual show since 2005, honors 2 "legends", one is always Salvador Lutteroth, CMLL's founder. Most recent event was the 2015 edition|
|Infierno en el Ring||December 5, 2014||Infierno en el Ring is an annual "multi-person" Steel Cage elimination match, sometimes it gets its own show, in other years it's the main event of another Major Event. The most recent event was the 2014 Infierno en el Ring|
|CMLL Anniversary Show||September 18, 2015||The biggest show of CMLL's year, commemorates CMLL's debut in 1933. The longest running annual show in professional wrestling. The most recent anniversary show was the 82nd Anniversary on September 18, 2015.|
|Sin Piedad||December 14, 2012||CMLL's "End of year" show|
|Juicio Final||August 1, 2014||Held intermittently since 1990|
|Sin Salida||July 17, 2015||Held intermittendly ince 2009. Most recent show was Sin Salida (2015).|
- CMLL Promoted world championships
|Championship||Current Champion(s)||Held since||Ref.|
|CMLL World Heavyweight Championship||Máximo||January 30, 2015|||
|CMLL World Light Heavyweight Championship||Ángel de Oro||October 28, 2014|||
|CMLL World Lightweight Championship||Dragon Lee||April 5, 2015|||
|CMLL World Middleweight Championship||Dragón Rojo, Jr.||November 18, 2011|||
|CMLL World Mini-Estrella Championship||Astral||September 7, 2014|||
|CMLL World Tag Team Championship||Negro Casas and Shocker||June 13, 2014|||
|CMLL World Trios Championship||Sky Team (Místico, Valiente and Volador Jr.)||February 13, 2015|||
|CMLL World Welterweight Championship||Máscara Dorada||January 2, 2015|||
|CMLL World Women's Championship||Marcela||April 10, 2015|||
|NWA World Historic Light Heavyweight Championship||Rey Bucanero||March 8, 2015|||
|NWA World Historic Middleweight Championship||Último Guerrero||August 31, 2015|||
|NWA World Historic Welterweight Championship||Volador Jr.||August 1, 2014|||
- CMLL Promoted national championships
|Championship||Current Champion(s)||Held since||Ref.|
|Mexican National Light Heavyweight Championship||Atlantis||August 24, 2015|||
|Mexican National Lightweight Championship||Eléctrico||August 13, 2013|||
|Mexican National Trios Championship||Los Hijos del Infierno (Ephesto, Lucifierno and Mephisto)||August 9, 2015|||
|Mexican National Welterweight Championship||Bárbaro Cavernario||May 3, 2015|||
|Mexican National Women's Championship||Zeuxis||January 19, 2015|||
- CMLL Promoted regional championships
|Championship||Current Champion(s)||Held since||Ref.|
|CMLL Arena Coliseo Tag Team Championship||La Comando Caribeño (Misterioso, Jr. and Sagrado)||February 28, 2015|||
|Occidente Heavyweight Championship||Diamante Azul||February 2, 2014|
|Occidente Light Heavyweight Championship||Puma||July 23, 2015|||
|Occidente Middleweight Championship||Virgo||April 17, 2015|
|Occidente Tag Team Championship||El Gallo and Esfinge||February 27, 2015|
|Occidente Trios Championship||Furia Roja, Mr. Trueno and Rey Trueno||May 3, 2015|
|Occidente Welterweight Championship||Sádico||July 20, 2014|
- Championshios recognized by CMLL
|Championship||Current Champion(s)||Held since||Ref.|
|CMLL-Reina International Championship||Maki Narumiya||May 17, 2015|||
|CMLL-Reina International Junior Championship||Silueta||August 30, 2014|||
|FULL World Championship||Arkangel de la Muerte||June 24, 2014|||
- No longer promoted / Inactive
|Championship||Last Recognized Champion(s)||Date created||End of Recognition||Ref.|
|CMLL Japan Super Lightweight Championship||Ricky Marvin||February 27, 1999||August 6, 2000|||
|CMLL Japan Tag Team Championship||Masato Yakushiji and Naohiro Hoshikawa||February 24, 1999||July 7, 1999|||
|CMLL Japan Women's Championship||Chikako Shiratori||October 17, 1999||February 13, 2000|||
|Mexican National Heavyweight Championship||Pierroth Jr.||1926||1995|||
|Mexican National Middleweight Championship||Blue Panther||1933||1992|||
|Mexican National Mini-Estrella Championship||Mascarita Dorada||January 8, 1993||November 5, 2004|||
|Mexican National Tag Team Championship||Los Destructores (Tony Arce and Vulano)||June 14, 1957||1993|
|NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship||El Texano Jr.||November 6, 1952||August 12, 2012|||
|NWA World Middleweight Championship||Averno||1939||August 12, 2012|||
|NWA World Welterweight Championship||Mephisto||March 15, 1946||August 12, 2012|||
CMLL conducts several annual tournaments which usually signify a big push. Tournaments have been left out of the schedule for unexplained reasons. Some tournaments are conducted as torneo ciberneticos, a large multi-man tag team elimination match, others are normal single elimination tournament.
|Tournament||Last winner||Last held||Notes|
|Último Guerrero||August 29, 2014||An elimination tournament consisting of all champions to determine the "Universal champion". Winner received a title belt but it is defended in the annual tournament.|
|Leyenda de Azul
|Atlantis||June 20, 2014||A tournament in honor of Blue Demon. It is secondary to the Leyenda de Plata tournament but features most of the top wrestlers in the promotion. It has been conducted as a normal torneo cibernético and as a one night tournament.|
|Leyenda de Plata
|Negro Casas||May 22, 2015||A tournament in honor of El Santo. This has been the most prestigious of the CMLL tournaments and the tournament is usually made up of the best in-ring workers.|
|Reyes del Aire
("Kings of the Air")
|La Sombra||May 1, 2015||This tournament is for high flyers. The tournament usually works as a cibernetico with mostly young and undercard tecnicos, with the idea of focusing more attention on the winner. Announced the 2015 CMLL Reyes del Aire tournament for May 1, 2015|
|Pequeños Reyes del Aire
("Miniature Kings of the Air")
|Shockercito||January 6, 2015||Like the Reyes del Aire but for Mini-Estrellas|
|Torneo Gran Alternativa
("Great Alternative" Tournament)
|Bárbaro Cavernario and Mr. Niebla||February 14, 2014||An elimination tag team tournament where an established star teams with a young midcarder with the intent to give the younger wrestler more credibility.|
|Torneo Nacional de Parejas Increibles
("National Incredible Pairs" Tournament)
|Máximo and El Terrible||March 6, 2015||An elimination tag team tournament where a rudo (bad guy) and a tecnico (good guy) team up.|
|La Copa Junior
("The Junior Cup")
|Máximo||October 10, 2014||This tournament features wrestlers who are at least second generation wrestlers, though worked family relations have been accepted as well.|
|Torneo Sangre Nueva
("New Blood Tournament")
|Soberano, Jr.||March 11, 2013||Tournament for the younger and lower ranked wrestlers in CMLL.|
|En Busca de un Ídolo
("In Search of an Idol")
|Boby Zavala||August 21, 2015||An eight-man tournament with the purpose of identifying which of the "Rookies" in the tournament would move up the ranks of the promotion. The 2015 tournament has been announced.|
|Torneo Increibles de Parejas, Arena Puebla||Atlantis and Volador, Jr.||April 1, 2013||An elimination tag team tournament where arudo (bad guy) and a tecnico (good guy) team up.|
Past annual tournaments
These are all the tournament that have been held in the past by Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre but have not been promoted in the last two years.
|Tournament||Last winner||Last held||Notes|
|International Gran Prix||Alex Shelley||July 26, 2008||Previously an elimination tournament, now a tornero Cibernetico. Features a "Mexico vs. International" wrestlers theme with one side being native Mexicans and the other side of the Cibernetico being foreigners, in 2008 it featured several Total Nonstop Action Wrestling wrestlers.|
|Copa de Arena Mexico||Team Tall
(Black Warrior, Lizmark, Jr., and Rayo de Jalisco, Jr.)
|July 5, 2002||A one night tournament for trios teams. The winners earns a trophy; each team comes up with a name for their trio. The tournament was only held in 1999, 2001, and 2002. In 1999, the winners were El Satánico, Rey Bucanero and Último Guerrero as "Team Guerreros del Infierno". The 2001 winners were Black Warrior, Shocker, and Apolo Dantes as "Team Shocker".|
|Forjando un Ídolo||Ángel de Oro||May 27, 2011||An 16-man tournament with the purpose of identifying which of the "Rookies" in the tournament would move up the ranks of the promotion.|
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More than 17,000 fans, a standing room only crowd, paid in excess of $1 million, for CMLL's 81st anniversary show at Arena Mexico in Mexico City. In doing so, CMLL has become only the second promotion ever to run in the North, South or Central America (WWE obviously being the other) to ever draw a $1 million gate.
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