While CMLL has dozens of luchadors on their roster, the company does not always utilize them the way the fans of lucha libre (especially the devoted foreign ones) would like. Whether it's restrictions on dives in opening matches or too many tournaments or people pushed because of their family's place in the promotion, you can usually find someone, especially on social media, unhappy with someone or something any particular week.
So, when the promotion does something great, or even very good, it stands out. And arguably, the best thing CMLL has done this decade in their 2014 En Busca de un Idolo tournament. And that's why we are going to devote some time over the next little while,, taking a look back at the tournament, examining the matches and also the creative decisions made during it. And now, a few years later, we also have the benefit of hindsight to ask if those decisions were the correct ones and maybe what they could or could not have done differently. We might even have some very special content relating to the tournament.
Before we start, I should give a big shout out to my online lucha friends who have already helped with some behind the scenes information and advice. Thanks as always to The Cubs Fan, Rob Viper, TKD, Alfredo Esparza, Matt D and Dr Lucha Steve Sims. We will definitely be sending people to check out Lucha World, the Lucha Blog and the Lucha Wicki for posts that were made at the time of the tournament as well as other relevant materials.
So, What is/was En Busca de un Idolo? Well, it translates to "In Search of an Idol," that should give you a clue. It was CMLL's version of Star Search pr American Idol. Of course, CMLL has been doing something similar with their Gran Alternativa tournament, which paired a veteran and young (sometimes "young") luchador in a tag team tournament, where the winning novice was elevated up the cards. And that was started in 1994.
The first En Busca de un Idolo was held in 2012 and won by Titan. The following year, the tournament was tweaked and the gimmick was it was a way for veteran mid-card luchadors to be elevated. It was Vangellys winning in 2013. As of this writing, the 2015 tournament was the last version held, won by Bobby Z(avala). All three of those tournaments had their ups and downs, but history has shown that only the first one has come close to being as successful, aesthetically and star-making, as the 2014 version.
In the next entry, we will discuss the participants, the trainers and the judges, Judges? We were not kidding when we compared it to American Idol. Find out who in CMLL would end up filling the SImon Cowell role in the 2014 En Busca de un Idolo?