AAA TV (WED) 03/23/2016 Plaza de Toros Monumental El Paseo, San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí [AAA]
Rey de Reyes 2016
1) Faby Apache, Máscarita Sagrada, Octagón Jr., Pimpinela Escarlata b Mamba, Mini Psycho Clown, Taurus, Taya
Mini Psycho Clown replaced Mini Charly Manson. Octagon Jr. was the surprise luchador and pinned Mamba with a 450 splash.
2) Dark Cuervo, Dark Scoria, Zorro b Aerostar, Drago, Fénix [AAA TRIOS]
first defense. Zorro beat Fenix with a Canadian Destroyer. Zorro beat up Fenix after the match.
3) Averno & Chessman © b Daga & Joe Lider and Argenis & Australian Suicide [TLC, AAA TAG]
first defense. Argenis replaced Jack Evans (illness). Chessman won after Averno was stretchered out.
4) Pentagón Jr. b Villano IV, La Parka [Rey de Reyes, final]
Blue Demon advanced to final but did not show. Parka beat Villano and Pentagon beat Parka. The Perros del Mal celebrated, but were attacked by Pagano, Halloween, Damian and Nicho who claimed they were the real Perros del Mal.
5) Dr. Wagner Jr. b Psycho Clown
Brawl with blood. Seconds were Mascarita Sagrada and Villano IV, who got involved. Wagner used a foul to win. Wagner demanded a title shot against Psycho Clown.
6) Texano Jr. b El Mesías [AAA HEAVY]
Texano won with a powerbomb to take the vacant championship. He’s the 13th champion, this is his second reign.
Air Date: April 2nd & April 9th.
AAA says they sold the building out and it certainly looked sold out in pictures. The venue is listed as 7000 seats, plus whatever they added on the floor and minus whatever they blocked off for the entrance. The Roldans made a point of showing the full crowd, and there seemed to be a message about AAA still being to do these kind of crowd regardless of who’s left. It’s a bit mitigated by this show being promoted as a special tribute for Hijo del Perro Aguayo and the seeming lack of other AAA shows in big venues outside of Mexico City, but 7000 tickets is 7000 tickets. You can’t argue with a sell out and that’s what they got – and probably at a cheaper cost than they were getting those a year prior.
There was no iPPV. AYM/internet.tv put up a note yesterday that the show was canceled thru no fault of their own. My belief is there was a deal that just didn’t get done in time. AAA never promoted it, and also didn’t say anything when other people found it. It seems like it should’ve, any extra money would’ve been nice, but the last minute and lack of advertising time for it means the only people who knew about it were mostly the people read this site. That’s not that many people. (If it was a straight revenue split, it’s money they passed up. If there was any sort of overhead AAA had to give up before the revenue split, then maybe it was money they saved.) As it is, I wish I was most skeptical of it actually happening as to not get people’s hopes up or worked harder to confirm it was actually happening)- it’s only because we’ve found the iPPV info before it’s was announced in the past that I thought it might be the same this time. Hopefully this can work better next show.
Jack Evans missed the show due to food poisoning. We knew about Mini Charly. AAA and Blue Demon haven’t explained his absence. It may be a flight issue. Demon also has a reputation of missing shows where he expects to lose, and he probably was going to lose on this show. It hasn’t really occurred to me, since he’s Mexican Hero Blue Demon Jr., but Demon was the last guy getting flown in from the US and probably getting paid US Dollars. It’s surprising given who isn’t around. Demon seems like he opens door for sponsorship a guy like Cage (to pick a name) would not, but Cage probably is easier to deal with and costs less.
(Blue Demon’s only “explanation” is to RT mentions of him also missing Rey de Reyes two years ago. Note to luchadors and luchadors promotions and anyone on Twitter: stop retweeting every mention you get.)
It still feels early on in this new regime, but one booking change that strikes me is there’s less angles on these shows. Wagner talked about matches (and because it’s Wagner, there’s no telling if this is actually a plan or a bit he made up on the spot or if it’ll switch from one to the other along the way) and people had title matches, but the only news it the debut of the Other Perros del Mal. The Pentagon group had been wearing red/white Perros del Mal t-shirts the last couple of days, which had appeared to be simply a new variant of the design for the Hijo del Perro Aguayo one year anniversary. Those who came in after the Rey de Reyes final appear to be wearing the normal black/white shirt, for a color coordinated feud (though I’m not sure how long Damian’s group had the shirts on, since they’re not wearing them in most of the photos.)
The show actually begin with an in-ring tribute to Perro Jr., with the current Perros del Mal members in the ring talking about him and the rest of the roster around the ring. It seemed heartfelt, but it also seems like a designed way to leverage sympathy for Pentagon’s group into the new feud. This angle touched a nerve; Perro being praised on TV is one thing, but his memory and legacy being fought over crosses a line for some. This is not new ground for AAA. The subtext and sometimes actual text of the Roldans/Konnan on-screen was also about who was the rightful inheritors of Antonio Peña’s legacy. (I guess it’s still happening off-screen.) I can’t say if it’s the right thing to do – I don’t know what Perro would want, and I’m not enough in the Mexican culture to tell how they’d receive it.
From a business and aesthetics standpoint, I’m not in favor of it. Pentagon gets the Rey de Reyes win, but adding these guys strongly suggest he’ll still be around the same place in the card. Nicho, Halloween and Damian have had outstanding careers, and are certainly allowed to keep getting paid from lucha libre when those much older and more broken down are getting paid, but are clearly worn down by a long hard career. Pagano is a limited luchador who tries very hard and doesn’t always succeed, and is best keeping focusing at what he does best. This is going to be a lot of extreme matches, a style that’s exhausted my patience. We’ll also find out if Pagano’s indie popularity can translate to a wider audience. If it can, then that’s solid reason to do more of this (which is depressing.) If it can’t, then they’re doing this damage to themselves for no reason.
Pentagon’s post-match interview pointed to a match between himself and Pagano, but the angle suggests a 4v4 match at some point. Who would be Pentagon’s fourth? Kahn and Taya both seem like not great ideas for this match. (Bringing in Keira or Ludark as Taya’s opposite would be a silver lining to this, and give the women’s title a new direction.)
This has some implications for indie promotions, all of whom seemed to be using Pagano at once. If he’s in AAA, his availability will be less and they won’t be able to do matches with him against CMLL guys – exactly what’s scheduled this weekend in Guadalajara. If you’re a fan of indie lucha and not of Pagano, this might be good news, but indie promoters who want extreme style can find others who are willing to do it.
I don’t know. I feel very dispassionate about this whole show. I don’t know if I’m just tired – the upside of no iPPV is I got at least one extra hour of sleep! – or if it’s just not enthralling when you’re only watching results on Twitter and Instragram (but not Snapchat?) AAA did the right thing with Pentagon winning, but it felt like that should be the first step for more. The underlining thought makes sense in that feud – give the Pentagon Perros someone more rudo to feud with to continue allowing them to be fan favorite rudos – but it doesn’t seem like a big step forward. The rest of the shows are wins that are worth mentioning, but everything’s been reset to the beginning and so none of it feels all that important and there aren’t a lot of directions suggested going forward. (They could’ve done the Japan bit of someone coming out to challenge Texano, to at least set up that direction.) Maybe the Zorro/Fenix interaction, maybe the Wagner challenges are going somewhere, but it’s going to take more time to find out about all of it.
The next show is April 8th in Mexico City. No lineup is out – maybe in the next few days.