As noted in the lineup post for today’s taping, AAA’s recent behavior indicates they’re having some finical difficulties. They’ve cut back on bringing in outsiders (1), they’ve cut back what they’re paying those outsiders, they’ve been unable to sign Wagner or Park to long term deals, they’ve moved from the expensive Arena Monterrey to the not expensive Orizaba bullring. There is a reason behind this.
On this Tuesday’s Figure Four Daily, Steve Sims explained AAA had issues one or two TV tapings in February. Dr. Lucha explained it’s common for AAA (and others) to have to pay a sort of protection fee to the local drug cartel and/or mafia to prevent problems from occurring on the show. On one of those tapings, there wasn’t much protection – AAA was robbed of the entire gate. No specific taping was revealed, but you can look at the listing of tapings from February and probably make a strong guess.
AAA normally pays it’s wrestlers straight out of the gate they receive (2), so they’ve been cash poor since this incident. Much of the belt tightening has come as a result; while they’ve got money from the movie and other things, they apparently did not have deep enough reserves to easily take this hit and things had to change. (3)
The cutbacks are part of the reason for the double tapings in March and April this year. The other reason was to reconfigure the taping schedule. AAA has decided to run all tapings within two hours of Mexico City, feeling there’s not near the same mafia/drug cartel control that close to DF. Arena Naucalpan, which is much smaller than the usual tapings locations, becomes an option when they’re looking in the small area. Arena Monterrey, far away from Mexico City and in an area surrounded by drug violence, is not. Dr. Lucha didn’t speculate on this situation changing any time soon. My guess is, if they were cutting a pay a month after TripleMania, they’re still struggling and may have not started to recover.
This may have far reaching affects; Perro Jr. showing up in no condition to perform is one problem, and being a costly guy at time where they can’t afford a costly guy is an extra problem. With most of the members of the Perros either in AAA or CMLL full time, going on his own seems less viable by the day. At the same time, AAA may be offering Wagner and Park more benefits and freedoms (like working their own schedules) in place of stronger money offers. Homegrown talent becomes even cheaper relative, because they’re driving two hours max and not being flown anywhere.
(1) – though, oddly enough, Jack Evans is listed as working a spot show tonight. And the WON said Hernandez got the last TV taping off to visit his family.
(2) – which better explains the periodic “AAA may fold” rumors we heard about every eight months when Pena was running the promotion; just a down gate or two could start a bad set of dominos.
(3) – cut backs, yes, but easy ways to make more money – like an online store – not so much. In a world where I still get people asking me where they can buy a Perro del Mal shirt, where every small promotion in the US and Japan is at least able to put together some merchandise with their logo on it, and where everyone involved could very much use the money, it’s appalling how far behind the curve the Mexican promotions are in this.