If you have been paying attention lately, and we can’t blame you if you haven’t, the Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre or better known for its initials CMLL have been in a downward spiral ever since the pandemic struck the world early last year and some may say, even before that.
Earlier this week, it was announced that the second incarnation of CMLL’s Mistico, previously known as Dragon Lee (not that Dragon Lee), was departing the company after 11 years of service, and the Mistico character would go back to its original author currently known as Caristico and better known as the first Sin Cara, which for clarity reasons we’ll refer to them as Dragon Lee and Caristico respectively.
This is the latest departure in a long list of major wrestlers who have left the company recently such as the two trios now known in AAA as the Nueva Generación Dinamita formed by Sansón, Cuatrero, and Forastero. There is also La Empresa formed by Sam Adonis, Puma King, and shockingly the still current CMLL National Heavyweight Champion Diamante Azul, now known as DMT Azul.
Now, if you think what we’re trying to describe sounds complicated just wait because it will get worse.
CMLL has been operating since 1933, making it the oldest still running wrestling company in the world, under the Lutteroth family who brought into mainstream fame the concept of lucha libre. They did this through stars such as El Santo and Blue Demon and more internationally experienced stars like Mil Mascaras, Canek, and the early Guerrero family.
This is noteworthy because when Salvador Lutteroth, the so-called “father of lucha libre”, retired before his passing in 1987 at age 90 he left his ownership duties to his grandson Francisco “Paco” Alonso who did an outstanding job at keeping the company’s quality and prestige before passing away just a little over two years ago now. This left the business in hands of his daughter, 28-year-old Sofía Alonso.
While it is a little unfair to put all the blame in Sofía’s hands it is clear that this has been a closely guarded family business for close to a century and even before her arrival as the head of the company in July 2019, there has been a clear shift in company’s product by over-relying in overly aged stars like Volador Jr, Ultimo Guerrero, and Negro Casas just to name a few.
Another point to consider when talking about CMLL is that press and interviews are not as widely available in Mexico as they are in the U.S. nowadays which means most of what is known about the Lutteroth family is based on rumors, including recently that Sofia Alonso held a long term relationship with wrestler Cuatrero and that she was relieved of her duties as early as August 2019 by her brother Salvador Lutteroh III; but again, this hasn’t been officially confirmed.
There have also been highly questionable management decisions like refusing to deliver on the dream match between L.A Park and Rush which ultimately resulted in both leaving and the latter becoming Ring of Honor World Champion and taking his family members Bestia del Ring and the second Dragon Lee now known as Ryu Lee in New Japan Pro Wrestling, with him.
Got all that? Good. We’re almost done.
After the disastrous management of both L.A Park’s and Rush’s families and the failed launched projects of Lucha Azteca, Lucha Libre Elite, and the now-extinct working relationship with Ring of Honor most wrestlers who have departed CMLL have named the product going nowhere as the main reason for their departure.
Finally, after that long terrible streak for the “Seria y Estable”, translated to the serious and stable company, the global pandemic struck and CMLL took the route of not holding shows at all. CMLL only resumed operations a couple of months back, again resulting in wrestlers looking for work elsewhere.
So, after all this heavy flow of information, how can CMLL bounce back from such a terrible current reputation?
Truth be told, if they actually bounce back there is no way it will be easy as they now have burned bridges with a lot of the most popular talent and promoters in Mexico and the U.S. Add that they are not looking to change the way they do business anytime soon, it looks almost impossible for CMLL to recover.
While this is just speculation on our part, the only way we see CMLL rising back to prominence is if they change their ways and actually expand their touring schedule to more venues other than their owned Arena México and Arena Coliseo and start working with other promotions as soon as possible.
It was heavily reported that the now failed project known as Federación Wrestling which for a time was backed by Andrade el Ídolo and Rush’s family was the big plan Sofia Alonso and CMLL had to catch the eyes of fans once again but for some unknown reasons, the whole thing fell apart just a few days before their first show.
In conclusion, CMLL has been digging a huge grave for themselves for the last 3 years or so and with the pandemic only making things much worse this looks to be the worst period of time in the company’s history on all fronts. It will take a real superhero to come in and save the pro-wrestling promotion with the most history and tradition in the world.