Lucha Tribute: Flyer
I know I said there would be a column yesterday that had nothing to do with wrestling. I swear I meant it at the time. Then I went and did laundry (as well as mowed my great aunt’s lawn. Hi Auntie Ann!) and, well, you try finding the energy to do anything other than watch Ken Burns’ Baseball documentary after all of that. What I’m trying to say is that the non-wrestling column is bumped till next Saturday. Why next Saturday? Because the new series I’m starting/restarting, Sega Saturday, only works if I do it on Saturday. Otherwise what’s the point?! Anyways, we’ll deal with this on Saturday. For now, I’m bringing back the Lucha Tribute to talk about an unsung luchador in CMLL. Like many other luchadors, he comes from a big family, is very talented, and is treated by CMLL the way Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena treated Gordon Hayward’s ankle (too soon?!). Ladies and gentlemen, turn off that wrestling show you’re watching that will surely disappoint and give this a read. This is the story of LA Park’s second favorite family member and the luchador who isn’t actually Volador Jr.’s brother, Flyer.
What You Already Know
I’m always confused with what to do in this section. Do I assume the main audience are lucha fans that have knowledge of Flyer or non-lucha fans who couldn’t tell Flyer from Hijo de Centella Roja? One of the reasons why writing isn’t as easy as it looks sports fans. You know what, let’s just split the difference. Those of you who know Flyer will see all the info you know (and possibly more) in the next section. For those of you who don’t, well there’s a reason this is blank. And honestly, most of the lucha fans who claim to know Flyer really don’t. They think he’s the guy who does that Poetry of Motion-style dropkick to the corner, when in reality they’re thinking about future New Japan legend Star Jr. Sure, Flyer does that too, but does he really when the only times he appears are every two months/cards I dream up for the day I finally take over CMLL? These are the questions that need answering.
What You Didn’t Know
Stop me, OH OH STOP ME, if you’ve heard this one before; young Flyer is part of a long family of lucha libre stars. Who on Grodd’s green earth could’ve seen that development coming, especially after I gave it away in the opening?!
So yes, Flyer is a third generation luchador. His father, a nameless dude who we know not, wasn’t a wrestler but his grandfather Ramón Ibarra Banda was. Newer lucha libre fans will remember Ibarra as Super Parka, a 9,000 year old luchador who inexplicably had a feud with Negro Casas over a year ago because…I don’t know its CMLL. Older fans however will remember Ibarra as both Super Parka and Volador, a highly charismatic (and skilled) luchador who thrilled AAA audiences in the early 90’s as he teamed (and later feuded) with the original Misterioso. As both of Ibarra’s famous personas indicate (as well as the opening paragraph), Flyer is also related to top CMLL star Volador Jr. and lucha libre legend/ninja skeleton/man you’d most want on your side if you got into a bar fight with Rush LA Park, who are Flyer’s uncle and great uncle respectively. Throw in the late El Hijo de Cien Caras and El Hijo de LA Park as other relatives and Flyer has been blessed with a family loaded with top lucha libre stars from the past, present and future. Then again, perhaps I’m just far higher on Hijo de LA Park than a lot of others are!
Not much is known about Flyer’s early years (aside from his birthday, October 3rd, 1994), but it is known he began training with the CMLL gym in Guadalajara in 2009 at the age of 15. Unlike the poor unfortunate souls that are forced to train with frequent Flyer opponent and statue impersonator Arkángel de la Muerte, Flyer was fortunate to train with three highly respected luchadors; former 80’s star Talisman (now known as El Hijo de Gladiator), his uncle Volador Jr. and the maestro king himself Virus. You know you’re going to turn out into a good luchador when you’ve got one of the five best luchadors alive right now and one of the most refined luchadors ever teaching you the craft. But despite the great training and the family connections, Flyer didn’t sign with CMLL. Instead, he debuted in the Guadalajara circuit in 2009, worked there sparingly for the next year (including one match where he teamed with Máscara Dorada’s brother you never knew Máscara Dorada had. Trust me; I didn’t till just now!), then headed out onto the indie circuit to hone his skills.
During this time he began to find work at a two year old promotion out of Tulancingo, Hidalgo; Desastre Total Ultraviolento, better known as DTU. Flyer’s first two matches for the promotion were as notable as James Cameron’s directorial debut Piranha 2: Survival Island, but things changed when he was entered into a one night tournament called Torneo de Parejas at DTU’s 2nd Aniversario. A tournament made up of three triple threat tag matches with the winners facing in a final triple threat tag match, Flyer was put with DTU star and Los Compadres Extremos member Aeroboy. I guess his partner Violento Jack was too busy that night! Jack’s loss was Flyer’s gain, as he and Aeroboy won their semi-final match and then overtook the teams of Eterno/Pequeño Cobra and Extreme Boy/Paranoiko to become the first, and to this point only, Torneo de Parejas winners. Just like that Flyer had gone from the outhouse to the penthouse; unfortunately it wasn’t a long stay. While he found work on the indies over the next two years, Flyer didn’t get close to the same heights he did during that one special night with Aeroboy. Well unless you count him winning the Beginners Division of the 2012 CMLL Bodybuilding Contest, a reward so grand that CMLL then waited two years before bring Flyer in as a full time guy. Somehow that was a far better fate than the one Príncipe Diamante had for winning the whole thing.
Things began to look up for Flyer in 2014, starting very early in the year where he won a tournament celebrating the 62nd year of Arena Aficion by defeating some dude named Maldito Jr. More importantly, CMLL finally, FINALLY, decided to bring Flyer in full time in January, bringing him in as a member of a group of young luchadors known as Generación 2014. Among the luchadors in this group were Blue Panther Jr., Cachorro, Dragón Lee, Hechicero and Star Jr., putting Flyer in esteemed company (and not so esteemed company when you consider Espiritu Negro was one of the other dudes. Don’t ask me how he got there). Unfortunately he didn’t get pushed like his contemporaries, working the opening and second matches during most of his appearances. His biggest match of the year for CMLL would wind up being a 16 man cibernetico, with the last eight luchadors qualifying for the 2014 En Busca de un Ídolo tournament. The good news; the cibernetico would go on to be one of the best matches Flyer has ever taken part in and En Busca de un Ídolo 2014 was such a success that not talking about in hushed tones these days results in a public flogging. The bad news; Flyer didn’t get to take part in it as he was the first person eliminated from said match by, are you ready for this, Metálico. METÁLICO! Needless to say Flyer was back in the lower card before you could blink and experts are still wondering Metálico had to go over him to this very day. That’s like having a chance to be the lead in a high profile blockbuster and being passed over for Jessica Alba.
2015 began the same way for Flyer as 2014 did; lower card match after lower card match, with the occasional team up with Soberano and/or Star Jr. in trios action thrown in. Things seemed to be looking up however when CMLL announced a 2015 edition of En Busca de un Ídolo and Flyer wound up one of the eight men who qualified. Things were finally turning around; after all, Flyer was really good (if still in need of some polish), last year’s En Busca de un Ídolo was one of the best things ever and surely this could prove to be a launching pad for him. As Lee Corso would say, NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND! You see, part of En Busca de un Ídolo’s appeal a year ago was the fact that it featured some of the best young lucha talent alive, many of whom are currently key players in CMLL today. The 2015 edition of the tournament was the exact opposite; of the eight luchadors in the tourney, only Flyer, The Artist Soon to be Known as the Banished Bobby Z (seriously, did Último Guerrero have him offed after The Car That Knew Too Much fiasco?), Delta and Guerrero Maya Jr. were luchadors you could say are legitimately good. After them the tournament was filled with average luchadors (Disturbio), green luchadors (Blue Panther Jr.), the greatest disappointment since Wolfgang Peterson’s last motion picture (Esfinge) and the biggest disgrace lucha libre has ever known (discount Heavy Metal himself, Canelo Casas). In the words of Vince McMahon, Flyer had no chance, and much like the 2015 En Busca de un Ídolo tournament himself he was seen as a huge disappointment. Even worse, his best chance for a great match (a one on one with Guerrero Maya Jr.) never happened as Flyer was forced to bow out of the competition due to an injury. Just like that, what looked like the ultimate opportunity for young Flyer turned out to be a Heaven Gate’s style disappointment, only without the critical re-evaluation twenty years after the fact.
To this point, En Busca de un Ídolo has turned out to be the defining moment of Flyer’s career in that CMLL has never given him an opportunity of any kind since. He was immediately relegated to the lower card yet again and has stayed there, with almost no single matches of any kind, no title shots of any kind and as much hope as the Cleveland Browns have. In fact, you could argue Flyer’s only had three notable matches since En Busca de un Ídolo 2005 ended. First, there was another cibernetico in August of 2015 featuring Flyer and many of the other En Busca de un Ídolo contestants. The match, along with a Los Ingobernables/Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. Atlantis/LA Park/Volador Jr. main event, helped to make that Super Viernes episode one of CMLL’s best shows of the year; naturally Flyer contributed little to it as he was once again eliminated first by discount Heavy Metal. It’s as if CMLL knew this would piss me off two years later when I finally wrote this article and planned ahead! Secondly, there was the 2016 Gran Alternativa, a tag tournament that teams a young luchador with a veteran luchador. Flyer drew Atlantis as a partner and actually made it out of the first round, only for him and Atlantis to lose to the eventual finalists, future Roppongi 3K member Fujin and future Lucha Underground season four star (here’s hoping!) Rey Escorpion.
And finally, there was this year’s 2017 Gran Alternativa that saw Flyer team with his trainer and uncle, Volador Jr. Why it took CMLL so long to put these two together is a mystery up there with why they allowed Metálico and Canelo Casas to defeat Flyer in two ciberneticos, but better late than never right? The duo proved to be a great team and ultimately stole the show, defeating Mephisto and Raziel in the first round (in a good match) before falling to eventual winners Carístico and Soberano in the second round in what turned out to be an excellent match. It was as if the stars aligned; finally Flyer had the confidence, the stage and the right partner to play off of to show what he could do. So of course it led nowhere; Flyer soon went back to the lower card, soon stopped appearing at all and has now recently resurfaced as one third of a new trio called Los Compadres del Mal with fellow low level guys Robin and Magnus. Yes, THAT Magnus. Why Flyer and Magnus wanted to associate with Robin instead of, say, Star Jr. or Fiero is a mystery to me, but at least it’s something for the three to do. Of course they lost their first match a week ago to El Hijo del Signo, Warrior Steel and Akuma but hey; baby steps amirite? At least they were losing to a team with a good luchador on it (Akuma) instead of one featuring Nitro, Arkángel de la Muerte and Sangre Azteca. At that point Flyer, Magnus and Robin would’ve been better off just walking out, going to America and making a go of things the way Tritón is. Could it really be worse than losing to the Grumpy Old Luchador squad all the time?
It sucks that someone as talented as Flyer has little to no good moments to highlight, thanks to CMLL sapping his confidence, giving him no opportunities and then removing him from the opportunities he is given right away. Luckily friend of the column and video making wizard DoradaFan has been kind of enough to “coincidentally” release this awesome tribute to Flyer just before I released this column! It’s almost if he and I timed it perfectly…anyways, check this video out because it does more justice for Flyer than I and certainly CMLL could ever do. He looks like the next coming of his uncle in this video, and I’m not joking.
There’s a group of young luchadors in CMLL like Magnus, Oro Jr. and Star Jr. who have a ton of raw talent, even more potential and yet either don’t get the opportunity to show it or are put against confidence killing losers like Arkángel de la Muerte, Nitro and Sangre Azteca that sap their will and make them basket cases. Flyer is in that group and I’d argue was as guy who had his confidence fucked with, until he regained it with that pair of great performances with Volador Jr. earlier this year. I’d like to say that it’s surprising CMLL can’t see what I and DoradaFan see in someone like Flyer but the fact that they continue to treat him like a doofus proves that it’s not. What a shame because with the right opponents, the right opportunities and the right level of confidence, Flyer could be the guy you see in that video ALL THE TIME! He’s still only 23 years old, he doesn’t have a ton of wear and tear and holy shit can he do some rad stuff? Did you see that Tarzan style rana where he swung from one side to the apron to the other via ring post? Or how about those gravity defying moonsaults? There aren’t many people who can do that these days and the fact that CMLL has one guy who can and treats him like the Calendar Man is lame as holy hell. You deserve better Flyer, and I hope you get it. And who knows, maybe this team with Robin and Magnus (another dude who deserves so much more) is exactly what the doctor ordered. If it’s not, there are always other places in Mexico that can use Flyer’s skill. In fact, I hear he may have a great uncle working for some promotion out of Tijuana now…
That’s game sports fans! I’ll be back tomorrow with a review of CMLL Puebla, unless I change my mind and decide to do the Tuesday review instead. It’s a toss up! Till whenever we meet again, THIS!