A press release last night announced a new partnership between AAA and FactoryMade Ventures to “focus on expanding [AAA]’s presence in the U.S. through live events and sponsorship, pay-per-view television, scripted and non-scripted series, licensing and merchandise.” There’s also a deal with Starlight Runner Entertainment, a transmedia company based in New York.
Instead of writing a lot about the press release, I’ll direct you to the 2009 (!) post when AAA announced a very similar agreement with Cookie Jar and I totally over analyzed. Just change find/replace Cookie Jar for FactoryMade, laugh at the positive references to AAA & Steve Shipp’s relationship, and maybe just roll your eyes at my immense waste of time. This deal could always work out better than the last one, it almost has to, but there’s nothing we can ‘learn’ from this press release that we didn’t ‘learn’ from the last one. We know AAA has goals. We don’t have much of a timeline.
This is news because most people following AAA didn’t already know they were going to the US. This is old hat because people who’ve been paying attention to Dorian and Konnan have known there are plans to do AAA things in the US, and this press release only confirms that.
There are a couple of important things to extract from the press release. The big one is way down in paragraph 9, when it’s mentioned FactoryMade co-owns cable network El Rey with Comcast. (The channel has an amusing backstory: Comcast is required to launch multicultural channels as a requirement for their deal to buy NBC to allowed, so El Rey is mandatory and there’s probably some pressure for Comcast not just to put it out there, but promote it.) That channel will launch New Year’s Day on 2014 and is a obvious spot for AAA programming to air in the US. It may not be the Sin Limite show if Televisa still airs the rights, but maybe Fusion or maybe an AAA US show? It is supposed to be “an English speaking channel for second or third generation Hispanics”, so it’s probably a English language show.
Transmedia – which I’m explaining because I had to find an explanation myself! – is carrying a story over multiplatforms. If you’ve seen a TV show where they direct you to a website to do more, that’s transmedia. I don’t know how it’s going to work with AAA, but I could imagine something where you could learn more about the luchadors, or maybe there’s some game where Aerostar has to battle thru 12 levels of Consgrados to get back on TV. (Laredo Kid was defeated on level 8.) It could be a social media app, it could be extra video, it can be whatever, just as long as it links back in with the AAA brand.
Also, AAA’s press release still claim “over 1,000 shows” and “1,000,000 fans.” The pedantic response is I counted 356 shows last year so I must’ve missed so many, but the more important spin response is AAA really needs to up that fan count to 2 or 5 million; if you’re going to invent numbers, don’t invent numbers that say you draw less than 1,000 people per show. Aim high.
In a bit of hilarity, one recapitulation of the press release uses CMLL’s Camaleon & Inquisidor to illustrate the article, Atlantic Wire uses a Dr. Wagner photo, and another story dares to use a photo from Lucha Libre USA. (There are definitely ones which get it right too.) The great advantage AAA has is “Lucha Libre” definitely means something in United States to people. The big challenge is the AAA brand – at least to the people tasked with turning press releases into short blog posts – doesn’t mean much, and half of them seem to think the name of the group is just “Lucha Libre.” (Or: lesson learned, make sure you include a photo with your press releases so people don’t just use the first photos they find on Google Images.)
As a fan, I want this to work. Desperately want this to work. This is another promise the day where this all works is coming, but also a reminder of other promises not honored and we have longer to wait. I’m probably not going anywhere – great news for AAA! – but all the waiting increases the sarcastic retorts.
Tonight’s big Arena Mexico match is opening match luchadors Soberano and Taurus facing off in the Sangre Nueva tournament. It’s the biggest match so for both guys, who both already seem to have strong futures with CMLL but have never been in a spotlight situation. The actual main event is the Guerrero vs Rush, Shocker and Marco, and the CMLL Gaceta questions if the Guerreros will get along facing each other in last Friday’s tournament. That stuff is usually ignored, but it’ll be interesting to see if they acknowledge the relationships between the Guerreros and the two kids in the Sangre Nueva final.
Kraneo replaces Tiger on Sunday in the Mexico City Arena Coliseo. Diamante Azul is on the other side, which makes me concerned for Mije’s safety.
CMLL (SUN) 03/17/2013Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) El Divino & Javier Cruz Jr. vs Relampago Azul & Thunder Boy
2) Azteca de Oro, Black Metal, El Hippie vs Acertijo, Demonio Rojo, Sádico
3) El Alteño, Esfinge, Leo vs Infierno, Maléfico, Ráfaga
4) Estrellita & Silueta vs La Vaquerita & Zeuxis
5) Gallo, Hijo del Fantasma, Rey Cometa vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Namajague, Shigeo Okumura
Cometa, Namajague, Okumura and Estrellita’s first big matches after Dos Leyendas.