El Rey on AAA, Niebla/Atlantis, Mistico

CMLL (SUN) 01/12/2014 Arena Mexico [CMLL]
1) Mercurio & Pequeño Nitro b Aéreo & Pequeño Halcón
Rudos took 2/3.
2) Leono, Magnus, Sensei b Akuma, Cholo, Herodes Jr.
Magnus’ enterance included all the edecanes wearing one of his masks. Tecnicos took 2/3.
3) Molotov, Sensei, Súper Halcón Jr. b Hooligan, Nitro, Nosferatu
Sensei repeated, replacing Starman. Hooligan subbed for Hijo del Signo. Tecnicos took 2/3.
4) Tritón b Cancerbero [lightning]
Triton won with a springboard legdrop in 7:33
5) Rey Bucanero, Terrible, Tiger b Blue Panther, Sagrado, Valiente
TRT took 2/3.
6) Atlantis, La Máscara, Super Porky DQ Felino, Mr. Niebla, Negro Casas
Niebla came thru the crowd to attack Atlantis. Tecnicos took 2/3, the last when Niebla fouled Atlantis. Niebla yelled at Atlantis and took his mask after the match.

Exactly what you’d think from the first FantasticaMania-free crew. Triton/Cancerbero was the best match on the show. CMLL has talent enough to put two good shows on the same night, but it’s tougher when most of that top talent goes on one show.

They continue to push Nuevo Valores Martes as if it’ll be an ongoing thing beyond when everyone’s back next Tuesday. We’ll see.

CMLL (SUN) 01/12/2014 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [@acogdl]
1) El Brillante b El Tapatío
2) Satara b Idolo
Satara capitalized on an Idolo mistake.
3) El Divino & Javier Cruz b El Yaqui & Évola
Tecnicos took 2/3.
4) Sky Kid DQ Demonio Maya
Maya fouled Kid for the DQ, and took his mask.
5) Esfinge & Gallo b Arkángel de la Muerte & Maléfico
Tecnicos took 2/3. Gallo challenged Arkangel to a mask or championship match, and Arkangel offered to put up his FULL (Chile) Championship next week.
6) Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Pierroth b Guerrero Maya Jr., Shocker, Smaker
Rudos took 2/3.

Dinamic Black and Gallo – Arkangel is building an eclectic list of challengers.

At the Television Critic Association winter press tour, Mark Burnett was introduced as partnering with AAA on their upcoming El Rey show. Burnett and El Rey’s Robert Rodriguez (who will both be executive producers) conversation about the show was treated as the biggest news from the press conference; both Hollywood Reporter and Deadline lead with stories on Burnett and AAA. (They also announced a partnership with producer Alex Garcia, who talks about reinventing AAA like Starlight Runner did last year.) The AAA show, who was still referred to by that name, was pushed as starting in the second half of 2014 and will be one hour in length. Deadline had this plot synopsis:

Storylines and masks are characteristic of the sport Burnett said, explaining that the logline for the U.S. introduction involves five of the sport’s stars who have discovered a secret plot that’s going to destroy the very foundation of the sport and they’ve been exiled to America.

There are plans for “monthly and quarterly specials and live pay-per-view events” plus the usual licensing/merchandising, though not a timeline on those. They pushed the “second most watched sport in Mexico” line and wrestling in the US being a $1 billion industry, hoping to combine the two.

The start date being pushed back again was the first thing to jump out to me. I’ve lost track of how many times it was moved, but there were people very certain it was March of this year after it they had been very certain it was January. Most people hearing about this are hearing about AAA for the first time, or the last times have made so little impact that it feels like the first time, so pushing the start back does not mean anything about it’s success. It is a reminder about how this project is being run; the wrong dates, and even the wrong concepts (what they’re suggesting up there is many miles away from the first roster split away) are generally coming from the AAA side, but they’re not the ones making the decisions. It does not appear anyone from AAA was at this press conference announcing an AAA show. AAA’s involved in the process, but they’re not the ones driving the car, they’re a passenger can only shout advice but don’t appear to have final say on where they’re going. Or when they’re going. We don’t have nearly enough information to turn down anyone who’s offering it, but also have to realize the people inside the deal sometimes don’t have much better access to it than those outside it.

The flip side of giving up control is AAA is partnering in people so interested in their potential that they want to be firmly involved. AAA, and all lucha libre promotions in general, have suffered under complete disregard if not outright contempt by their broadcast networks in recent years. Just this weekend, Televisa didn’t air AAA’s episode with no warning or explanation. The planned repeating of TripleMania did not air. AAA took center stage at El Rey’s press conference when “Lucha libre”, usually without a promotion mentioned, was buried to the last lines of Galavision’s TV press releases. (Often, it wasn’t mentioned at all.) CMLL’s plan of just selling off their existing unchanged TV to as many outlets which will take it will get them paid, but is highly unlikely to build their visibility ever. AAA’s being much more flexible because the CMLL way just wouldn’t work out for their goals (fan generated revenue, not just low level cable station revenue) and they’ve got to take all the help they can get if they’re going to reach those goals.

Mark Burnett is a big deal. Burnett’s responsible for Survivor and the Voice among many other shows, so just showing up gives the AAA show and El Rey credibility. But he’s also responsible for those shows, and a bunch others going on right now judging from those articles, so he’s not here to put in 40 hours days and figure out Murder Clown’s wardrobe. He’s probably going to be a guy to come to some big picture meetings, review the first episode or so, and most important, draw other people to the project. The day to day stuff is going to be done by other people, but the El Rey network strategy appears to get high profile names involved so they’re taken seriously more quickly and they’ve done that with Burnett.

The plot line is familiar, because AAA likes that plot line. AAA’s movie was about their luchadors preventing lucha libre from behind destroyed, and AAA’s Mexico promotion is not far off that – AAA’s army is bigger than five people but Konnan & Dorian just got done with their (latest) secret plan to destroy AAA (and remodel it in their own image.) Five luchadors exiled from Mexico sounds like a lot smaller amount of people moving back and forth between the promotions than originally thought (not that the original thoughts have been worth much), but I wouldn’t expect it to be specifically five guys. There has to be people to oppose them, and we think Konnan’s on that side. He probably is, I just don’t feel safe in saying we know anything when the specifics seem to shift around every few months.

Actually, we don’t even know that the five luchadors will be existing characters, or even people who work for AAA. We do know, or think we know, there are some scirptwriters currently putting together episodes. We don’t know if they’re doing it using characters who currently exist in AAA or if there will be some reinvention of characters for this show. (Again, AAA was introduced here as if no one knew anyone in it, there’s no reason they have to use what they already have if they have a better idea.) If would be new characters, we also don’t know if AAA people would be auditioning for spots or if they’d even look outside for new people. I’d guess they’d stick with AAA guys, but there’s so little we know here it feels like a misdirection to assume anything.

Second half of the year is a long time away. If you, instead of reading a rambling post on lucha libre, went out and met a significant other tonight and, uh, initiated reproduction, it’s a fifty/fifty chance you would bring new life into this world before AAA US show hits the air. It’s so far away that it may be a while before we hear anything more about. Maybe that’s the only thing we know for sure: AAA USA is far away.

Alfredo has his thoughts on the deal too.

The CMLL crew for the FantasticaMania show left today. Many of that crew wrestled Saturday night on a private show at Arena Mexico. Volador won a cibernetico, but the bigger news was Zacarias suffering a head injury. He was taken to the hospital and said to be better today. Sombra wrestled on the show, so whatever problem there was Friday was over already.

I don’t know this with 100% certainty, but Mistico The First might have visited backstage at that CMLL show based on Twitter conversation. His contract with WWE would’ve expired this weekend, based on the date Dr. Lucha had, but there’s been no official word from WWE as of yet. It’s a weird deal, because they don’t totally want to give away that it’s a new guy under the Sin Cara mask so they can’t publicly say the old one is gone, but they’re distancing from him. He’s still listed as one of their official Twitter accounts, but WWE makes sure not to reference that account whenever they mention Sin Cara. Mistico I has mostly been using the account to RT fans who think Hunico-Sin Cara is not as good as him, which is something that would normally get a guy fired if anyone was paying attention to him. If Mistico I is really running a show to celebrate the first anniversary of his gym, that seems likes the time we’ll find out his next plans.

Los Colisenos hands out their 2013 awards, comes up with some tortured logic to justify Thunder as rookie of the year. This is useful in reminding us that Thunder is a person who exist – or existed, since he hasn’t been around since 12/15. They could’ve given Thunder a long break if he returned home to Australia, but it would make sense to have as many people back the week of FantasicaMania, and there’s no sign of Thunder. It’s still too early consider to count him gone, but it’s possible.

This week’s Super Libre has interviews with Rey Hechicero, Mr. Niebla, Disturbio, Dandy and more. Now in podcast form!

DTU has added Jinzo & Rey Celestial to the previously announced Flamita & Rocky Lobo vs Kaleth & Violento Jack match for their 02/01 show.

Rob has highlights of 05/10/13 CMLL Puebla.

LuchaWorld has KrisZ’s news update.

R de Rudo has video of the 01/05 Arena Cuautepec.

Ohtani’s Jacket reviews 94-95 CMLL.