The luchador best known as Flamita announced on his personal Facebook today he was returning to being an independent. He stated he was giving up the Octagon Jr. identity and his association with AAA, and returning to his own name.
The bulk of the short post was about the recent incident of Octagon unmasking then Octagon Jr. at an autograph signing. It’s the first time he’s talked about it publicly Flamita says he respects Octagon, but Octagon’s problems were with AAA and should’ve stayed that way. Flamita understood the consequences of his actions (taking on the Octagon Jr. name) but feels himself and his fans deserved respect. Flamita goes onto say he believes he has the talent to make it on his own name in lucha libre, and so is returning to his old name and leaving AAA.
Flamita thanks AAA for giving him the opportunity and wishes them success in the future. Flamita says he’s independent as of today, which suggest he may not be going thru with the rest of his AAA bookings. He’s currently listed on shows all the way thru May 27th, though Friday’s TV taping is not on the list. Octagon Jr. was not involved in any AAA storylines. Octagon Jr. had a reasonable chance of being included in the Lucha World Cup in some fashion as a way to spotlight the new character – we have no idea how much of that was already decided, but maybe it’ll need to be changed. AAA has said nothing about the situation. My (limited) information is there had been some meetings between Flamita & AAA leading up to this – I think this is Flamita getting out of his AAA deal with AAA’s knowledge and not just unexpectedly quitting, but no one’s confirmed that to me.
This reads like it’s more about Flamita wanting freedom and the benefits of not being tied to a promotion. He’s a very rare young luchador who’s got some name value without being a regular on TV, and it’s may be that he was doing better for himself as Flamita than on an AAA schedule as Octagon Jr. The controversy over the Octagon Jr. name seems to have played a part in his decision, but it comes off as if Flamita would’ve just rather been Flamita than Octagon Jr. all along. It made sense for AAA to want an Octagon Jr. and Flamita was as good a choice as any – Octagon (Jr.) is easier to sell to promoters aiming at casual fans, which means AAA makes more money off using him – but AAA had not used Octagon Jr. in any meaningful way since his debut. Flamita had meaningless TV roles in second and third matches, Octagon Jr. was used in TV meaningless roles in fourth and fifth (and an PPV opener), and the consistent part was the meaningless of it all. They were adding any value to him. Flamita wasn’t a young guy who was getting his first real shot, he’s a young guy who was getting big spots (in smaller promotions, and one that is at least around the same size) and has been around enough to know the difference.
There had been recent hints in social media that something was up between AAA and Octagon Jr. It’s very possible the Octagon unmasking moment started everything rolling, but the relationship between AAA & Flamita has been challenging all along. AAA had tried to bring Flamita back in as long as ago as 2014 before finally getting him in 2015, and even then it seemed like it took a while for everyone to agree on deal for Flamita to come in full time. Flamita doesn’t turn 22 until November, so his and AAA’s paths are likely to merge again if he continues in lucha libre long enough. (AAA’s surely very unhappy about how this all went down, but have shown the willingness to get those feelings if the deal is right.) Hopefully it’ll go smoother next time, though next time may be a long time away.
Flamita included a photo with the Dragon Gate Open the Brave Gate championship and hinted he’d be going back to his Japan home with a hashtag. He probably will be going back – he likely knew he could, and that opportunity played into his decision to leave AAA. (As far as I’ve noticed, Dragon Gate’s never said anything about Flamita since he’s been going, positive or negative. He wasn’t even brought up when the group he was with lost a match where they were forced to break up. The closest acknowledgement was the recent Ciclon Ramirez Jr. tryout, where it was mentioned there aren’t any foreigners regularly coming in.)
In Mexico, Flamita will immediately start working for CaraLucha. They’ve announced him as part of the 05/21 Anniversary show. There’s a decent chance he’s meant to be Mascara Dorada’s opponent for that show. I expect ever Mexico indie will try to use him, just as they did before he signed with AAA. US booking of lucha libre talent has picked up in the last year and there’s a good chance he’ll turn up there as well. Flamita also makes sense as independent luchador on ELITE shows – though if AAA has any ability to stop him from working places, that would be the place they’d pick.
There is also going to be guessing about Flamita being involved in WWE’s Global Cruiserweight Series. Flamita’s goals of being independent and tease of going to Japan suggest that’s not his plan, but this story has taken so many twists and turns that it’s hard to rule anything out at this point. There’d be a great irony of one Octagon Jr. following the same path as the original Octagon Jr. if it happened, but I don’t think that’s what is going on here.
The original Octagon is declaring total victory, congratulating Flamita for seeing the errors of his ways. That’s not exactly what Flamita is saying, but Octagon is getting everything he wants and will chalk this up as a victory. That’s a depressing part. (Octagon and Flamita now inevitably meeting at an indie show will be the interesting part.) It may be a short lived one. AAA seemingly stuck someone new in the Bengala outfit just to prove some point and keep the character alive. There’s a good chance we’ll see an Octagon Jr. III before long. The reasons for AAA to have the character remain the same, and it doesn’t require a super luchador given how if he’s just going to be used the same way as Flamita. There’s going to be no shortage of people who would take the character Flamita didn’t want, no matter how it makes Octagon feel. The fight between AAA and Octagon is not over, it just may go quiet for a while.
There’s one more aspect to this, but I’ve left it to last because it is a Lucha Underground spoiler. You may want to turn away, but it’d be silly not to talk about. This turns into a digression too, so you may best to avoid it.
Flamita debuts near the very end of Season 2 of Lucha Underground as Night Claw. Flamita was around in dark matches for a few tapings before he appeared, so it’s possible he taped vignettes and will show up on many episodes. (The name showed up as a recent trademark filling, and those seem to get done a few weeks before the episodes air – he’s probably still not on the show until late, but it’s possible he’ll show up at any time.)
Lucha Underground wrestlers are typically required to sign contracts with the promotion that forbid them leaving for many seasons. It’s why King Cuerno is still in Mexico City and not Orlando. Flamita surely had to sign a similar contract, but he appears not bound the same way. Maybe more will come out this later, but I’m tempted to believe Flamita isn’t still under LU contract, past whatever end of season no-compete there may be. Night Claw has not appeared on any season 3 tapings, and Flamita hasn’t been in dark matches. That character might have been written out already in some way we don’t yet know – they’ve certainly treated him like he doesn’t exist in this set of tapings.
(There does seem to be a trend of the AAA midcarder/jobber types not being used in Season 3. I’ve been wondering if it’s a sign of a relationship problem between the AAA & LU, but it could also easily be a way to save money. Paying a good LA local guy to drive in is a lot cheaper than flying in Argenis or Super Fly for a short match. Maybe Night Claw just became an expense they had to cut to get Season 3 done the way they wanted, but it has been disappointing me not to see as many of my AAA favorites in the Season 3 results. The top guys are still there and the other local guys sound good, but my favorites are my favorites. At least I’ll get to see more of this favorite elsewhere now.)