possible explanation for AAA cutbacks

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.

AAA beats IWRG (again), CMLL/AAA previews, IWL

Chico Che/Black Terry Jr.

IWRG (THU) 08/05 Arena Naucalpan [Black Terry Jr. (flickr)]
1) Mixteco Jr. b Imperial
2) Dinamic Black & Keshin Black b Alan Extreme & Imposible
3) Cerebro Negro, Eragon, Miss Gaviota b Comando Negro, Eterno, Magia Negra
4) Avisman, El Hijo del Diablo, Gringo Loco b Brazo Metalico, Chico Che, Freelance
5) Electroshock, Último Gladiador, Zorro b Hijo de Pirata Morgan, Pirata Morgan, Trauma I

IWRG took the first fall of the main event, AAA took the second, and Ultimo Gladiador beat Trauma I with a hard powerbomb. Trauma I was put in a neckbrace and stretchered out.

Brazo Metalico replaced Suicida. Keshin Black was a replacement for Silver Boy and either forgot to bring his gear or was a very last minute sub, because wore a Hijo del Diablo mask and Comando Negro’s pants.

Two notable shows today. At Arena Mexico, CMLL has part two of the Universal tournament. With Sombra coming out of the block, there are obvious finals against Jushin Lyger (rematch of Sombra’s BOSJ closing win by countout) and Volador Jr. (tag team partners, Volador turning rudo?), and less obvious finals versus Hector Garza & Mr. Aguila (just defeated him for the tag titles.) We’ll probably get a Negro Casas/Jushin Lyger match along the way. CMLL’s stopped hinting towards Volador/Sombra lately; I think Lyger is more likely. SuperLuchas is also picking Lyger.

Main event should be more with Psicosis/Mistico, though this would be the week to back away if they’ve changed their mind. The anniversary show is 6 Fridays away.

In Puebla, AAA tapes it’s last television show before Verano de Escandalo. Aerostar & Fabi Apache get their rematch for the mixed tag team titles against Alex & Christina, which hopefully goes better for her than the last match. The Vipers 3.0 return to television as goons for the Legion, and 187 faces Halloween and Damian in a match that’s been teased since the AAA/Perros crossover was announced. Most of the show will be straight build to the card next week.

A CMLL press release explains Tuesday’s minis cibernetico is part of the annual celebration of the start of their division. The yearly party will take place on Thursday.

Espaladas Planas has a video interview with IWRG’s Comando Negro.

Former IWRG wrestler La Roca, last spotted training in CMLL, gives an interview with Fuego en el Ring where he says his new name is Oxido and he’s signed by AAA.

IWL held a press conference for their debut show, next Friday. Website still doesn’t work. Reading the notes WagnerMania posted from the press conference, it’s no longer the list of talent that sticks out to me (Al Snow not on the list this time), but that they plan on running 45 shows. This year? All time? Who can say. Their tournament schedule

08/13: Chuck Palumbo vs Charly Manson, Scorpio Sky vs Ryan Taylor
08/19: Mr. Aguila vs Jerry Lynn, Paul Dennis (?) vs Damian 666
08/26: Blue Demon Jr. vs El Generico and Villano III vs Henry Caloui
09/04: Canek vs Alebrije and Paul London vs Paul Cabana (maybe Colt?)
09/10: quarterfinals A & B
09/18: quarterfinals C & D
10/03: semifinals and final

I can’t believe Blue Demon Jr. vs El Generico might be a real match. I don’t actually believe any of this until it happens and I hope they actually spent the press conference hyping up their first show more than their seventh. (On the other hand: not my money, knock yourself out.)

Slamin Stan #37 is up.