Lucha Tributes: Star Jr.
It’s time for round two sports fans! I’ve already covered Copa Junior participant Magnus earlier today, and now it’s time for us to take a look at yet another underappreciated young luchador taking part in the match. Get ready for a lot of praise here too, because this guy isn’t just someone I think is really underappreciated; he’s one of my favorite luchadors alive right now. Whoa, high praise from Cult! Get ready for more of, as I tell you the tale of El Principe Azul, the master of the moonsault tornillo and Soberano Jr.’s best friend in the world, the one and only Star Jr.
What You Already Know
Like Magnus, this could be another case of people confusing luchadors. So let’s get this out of the way; Star Jr. and Soberano Jr. aren’t the same guy. Yes they hang out a lot, yes they’re both lucha luchadors with long hair and yes, they both do tornillos off the top rope really, REALLY well. Alas they aren’t the same guy. As it turns out Star Jr. is just a guy who looks like Soberano, only he’s bulkier, he likes to dance to his horrible entrance music every time he comes out, he has the best moonsault in CMLL by someone not named Tritón or Titán and he’s much, much lower on the card than Soberano is. Oh, and he also does his tornillo from a moonsault position, unlike Soberano who stares his prey down before annihilating them. To sum this section up; we know that Star Jr. isn’t Soberano Jr. Hopefully this makes you all the more excited to learn about Star Jr. from here on in.
What You Didn’t Know
Like seemingly every luchador not named Vinnie Massaro that I’ve ever written about, Star Jr. is a luchador spawned by luchadors. The only difference is that his lucha family consists of one name; his father Isaías Hernández Muñoz (no relation to Rush, Dragón Lee, Mistico or Pierroth). A 24 year veteran, Muñoz has primarily worked in Mexico as a freelancer, having stints with the UWA during their twilight years, Promo Azteca, CMLL, DTU and most notably IWRG, where he eventually found success under the name Star Boy. Sound familiar? Naturally Star Jr. couldn’t help but follow in the footsteps of his father, training under him, Tony Rivera and Tigre Magico before making his debut in 2010. Originally Star Jr. alternated between the names Apollo Muñoz and Tigre Magico II, a tribute to his father and his trainer. Eventually however Star Jr. settled on the name Star Boy Jr. when he debuted for IWRG in 2012.
Oh yeah; I almost buried the twist at the end of that paragraph. Did you really think Star Jr. just appeared out of thin air in CMLL without going anywhere else? Nope; before his CMLL run he was a seventeen year old rookie working IWRG shows in Arena Naucalpan. Though he was primarily used as a tag guy, Star Jr. (as Star Boy Jr.) did get some notable matches, such as taking part in a sixteen man steel cage Apuesta match and playing a role in the ongoing IWRG Gym vs. Tony Rivera Gym rivalry. Perhaps his most famous night in IWRG however was at the La Guerra de Golfo event. Originally Star Jr. was only booked for one match; an opening tag match where he and his partner Galaxy lost to Guerrero Mixtico Jr. and Matrix Jr. quickly after Galaxy dislocated his shoulder. The injury bug must’ve been going around IWRG at the time because the following match, a tag match between Chicano and Tritón (not this Tritón) vs. Pacto Negro and The Mummy, was in need of a replacement after Tritón went down with an ailment. So who did IWRG turn to? None other than Star Jr., who wrestled his second consecutive match, this time ending up on the winning side. Sure it was only the first two matches of the night and it wasn’t too strenuous considering Star Jr.’s first match was very, very short. Even still; two matches in one night, back to back? That’s nothing to sneeze at.
After a year of working between IWRG and the indies (while also receiving additional training), Star Jr. caught the eye of CMLL and wrestled his first match for the company on January 6th, 2014. It was here he officially dropped the Star Boy Jr. name in favor of Star Jr.; I’m not entirely sure why, but the change was made and Star Jr. has been Star Jr. ever since. Much like most new CMLL luchadors however his 2014 was an uneventful string of trios and tag matches. Two notable things did happen to Star Jr. that year however. First, he got to team with Atlantis in the 2014 Gran Alternativa, a team that was unfortunately short lived after they lost in the first round to the All Star team of Hechicero and Último Guerrero. Second, he was part of En Busca de un Ídolo tournament, a far more successful venture for the youngster than the Gran Alternativa had been. Granted Star Jr. lost more matches then he won during this tournament, but he did at least win three matches, including notable victories over Guerrero Negro Jr. and Dragón Lee (in an exceptional match you will be reading more about shortly). He saved the best victory for last though, when he defeated some guy named Soberano Jr. Hey, we’ve heard that name before!
Turns out their En Busca de un Ídolo match (also very good) wasn’t the beginning of a rivalry but the beginning of one of them beautiful friendships. Soon after Star Jr. and Soberano were a team, going by the name El Principes del Ring (“The Princes of the Ring.” Not the most creative name). This entailed them mostly working trios matches for the rest of 2014, until they found themselves feuding with Cholo and Ramstein of all luchadors. The feud led to Star Jr.’s first (and to this point only) mask vs. mask match on January 6th, 2015, where he and Soberano defeated Cholo and Ramstein in a decent match to save their masks and claim their firsts. This was a big moment; not only was it the biggest win of Star Jr.’s life, but it also took place exactly one year to the day after CMLL first brought him in. I may not be the most intelligent dude in the room, but that seems like a good sign for your future when you do that. Unfortunately Star Jr. followed up with the worse possible outcome; getting injured. The young technico would break his middle finger in a trios match that April, sidelining him until July. By the time he returned Soberano had branched off into other activities, leaving Star Jr. to wallow alone by himself in the lower card. The two would eventually start teaming again in trios action and have since, though CMLL has made no effort to push them seriously as a tag team nor have they even considered giving them a third friend to form a kick ass trios team. Only in CMLL folks.
And therein lies what separates Star Jr. and Soberano; the latter, while not a main event player by any means, has at least gotten opportunities to show the world what he can do in Lightning Matches against Hechicero and most recently during the FantasticaMania tour. Star Jr. hasn’t gotten those; his lone Lightning Match in the past few years has been against the wood log Skándalo and his trios matches frequently place him lower on the card and/or with a partner who overshadows him in star power. Thus, much like Magnus, Star Jr. has become one of those guys who will stand out big time when you watch him, but he’s so low on the card that you often forget just how good he is. All the more reason this Copa Junior cibernetico couldn’t have come a long at a better time.
There’s three Star Jr. matches you have to check out. The first is his En Busca de un Ídolo match with Dragón Lee from 2014. Mother of Grodd is it stupendous. There’s high spots galore, numerous moments where you’ll yelp with excitement, a killer pace; it’s pretty much one of the best seven and a half minute sprints you’ll ever see. Throw in how rare it is to actually see someone with the stature of Dragón Lee (who was a death defying lunatic even back then) go up against someone who flies around as good as him? It’s rare folks; it’s very rare.
The second is a trios match featuring Star Jr., Soberano and the then Hombre Bala Jr. going up against Puma, Tiger and old reliable Okumura from a CMLL Super Viernes show just this past October. It’s actually more of a showcase for the future Drone than Star Jr., but he and Soberano are excellent as usual, Puma and Tiger are exactly what you’d expect them to be and Okumura is, well, Okumura. It’s not hard for those six to have a great match and the fact that they make it great despite the second match restrictions of Arena Mexico makes it all the more impressive.
Finally, if you have the means, you need to check out Star Jr. vs. Soberano Jr. vs. Dragón Lee from Lucha Memes Chairo 6 from this past November. I’ve only seen the highlights myself but MY GRODD; there’s more action in the preview than in your average PWG and Roland Emmerich preview combined! I dare say the preview itself is worth a near five star rating; it’s that good. If you have the cash and the connections, find a way to watch this match, and if you’re poor like me then just keep watching that preview over and over again until someone posts it.
Hot take; Star Jr. is the best guy in the Copa Junior semi-final cibernetico tomorrow and is just as good, if not possibly better, than the more lauded Soberano Jr. And I love Soberano Jr. The difference between them is like I said earlier; one guy has gotten the opportunities and one hasn’t. Even without the opportunities though Star Jr. has proven himself to be quite the talent. He can fly just as well as anyone else in CMLL. Like Soberano, he has a willingness to break out moves you don’t normally see in CMLL. Like Magnus, he stands out regardless of where you put him. And quietly he’s very good at things other than high flying; look at his use of mat work and submission style wrestling in the Dragón Lee match towards the end if you don’t believe me. The point is that I truly cannot say enough good things about Star Jr. I think he’s criminally underrated, I think it’s high time he started getting the same notoriety and recognition many of his peers are and I’m hoping tomorrow’s match is the start of that. And don’t look now, but I think he’s got a shot of winning this match. The field is far more wide open than last week, the history between Soberano and Star Jr. is something that could influence the result and I don’t care if it makes sense or not, I WANT IT TO HAPPEN! The time has come to stop ignoring Star Jr. and treat him for what he should be; a star. Pun fully intended.
That’s a wrap sports fans. I’m off to make dinner, and then I’ll be back to preview the Super Viernes show, featuring Star Jr. and Magnus. You won’t want to miss it. Till then, THIS!!!