Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL; Spanish pronunciation: [konˈsexo munˈdial de ˈlutʃa ˈlibɾe], "World Wrestling Council") is a Lucha Libre-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). It is currently the world's oldest pro wrestling promotion still in existence after 80 years.
History 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 Liger winning the CMLL Universal Championship. 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.
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.
The original logo of Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre. 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. 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. 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.
Major shows 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,
- Fantasticamania -co hosted with New Japan Pro-Wrestling every year.
- La Hora Cero
- Homenaje a Dos Leyendas -this show honours legends of the company.
- 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 2013 Infierno en el Ring
- CMLL Anniversary Show -The biggest show of CMLL's year, commemorates CMLL's debut in 1933. The longest running annual show in professional wrestling. Next anniversary show will be the 81st Anniversary.
- Sin Piedad -CMLL 'end of the year' show
- Juicio Final
- CMLL World Heavyweight Championship
- CMLL World Light Heavyweight Championship
- CMLL World Middleweight Championship
- CMLL World Mini-Estrella Championship
- CMLL World Lightweight Championship
- CMLL World Tag Team Championship
- CMLL World Trios Championship
- CMLL World Welterweight Championship
- CMLL World Women's Championship
- CMLL Arena Coliseo Tag Team Championship
Credit goes to Wikipedia's article, Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre.