IWRG (SUN) 04/09/2017Arena Naucalpan
1) Shadow Boy vs Keiser Drago
2) Aramis & Black Dragón vs Lunatik Xtreme & Skanda
3) Demasiado, Diva Salvaje, Nigma vs Diablo Jr. I, El Hijo del Diablo, Imposible [EdM Trios] first defense
4) Relámpago vs Cerebro Negro
5) Leo, Mike, Rafy, Teelo vs Black Terry, Demonio Infernal, Hip Hop Man, Ovett
6) Hijo de Pirata Morgan, Pirata Morgan, Pirata Morgan Jr. vs Dr. Cerebro, Heddi Karaoui, Herodes Jr.
All the Pirata waste no time into returning to IWRG (which suggest the departure was agreed on for a while.) Pirata Morgan Jr. is the real winner of his brother leaving AAA. Marichi Locos winning the trios titles owul dbe fun but unlikely to happen in the first match.
The matches sound good. Good good – the cruiserweight match might the one to see if/when it turns up elsewhere, but I didn’t see anything complete beyond the main event. The people who wrote about the show on social media seemed to have a very good time, and the Rey Mysterio entrance was crazy. The main event was about a ***1/2 exhibition-y all star trios match that was done well and got very good in the last third, with Nakajima feeling much more out of place than Rhodes. It was worked more US style, they all got in big spots at the end, the crowd went nuts for the 619 spot on everyone and Rey picked up the win. If you’re interested in just the quality of matches, they sound like they were all pretty good, and you can skip the next 2000 or so words.
Apolo Valdes guessed attendance at 60%, maybe a bit more. Estrellas del Ring says 70%. It looked a lot more empty that in the photos, with sections of empty seats and the wide ranges of the upper level completely empty. It looked like Arena Mexico on a Tuesday or a Sunday. It was tough to imagine how The Crash was going to make money running this show even if they drew a great gate, and this sort of turnout surely hurts.
The “all-star card” of meaningless matches has to go. I like seeing lot of luchadors getting work, but most of their efforts were wasted and most of the names didn’t mean much. This style of show has been proven not to be effective, especially in Mexico City, many times. Not enough has been learned from the failure of Elite. Elite brought in any big name they could, brought even more foreign stars for it’s international tournament , and drew horribly for a major league promotion. They drew great for a minor league promotion aimed at fervent wrestling fans, and so did The Crash did tonight, because all the Mexico City people who follow non-WWE international wrestling came to those shows. There’s just not enough of those people to fill Arena Mexico or fill Gimnasio Juan de la Barrera, not even close.
Gimnasio Juan de la Barrera is the home of AAA because that’s how AAA hypes it. They’re not the only promotion who’s run there. FULL wanted to two shows there run there last year, got Mexico City mainstream attention doing an angle with Pirata Morgan and a clown, and sold so few tickets that one show was canceled and the other was pretty vacant. (They’re going to try again with Alberto & Distromania, and it’s likely going to end the same way.) Baracal, who has experience promoting concerts around Mexico, had the hardcore pick for feud of the year, LA Park versus Rush, and drew no better than The Crash did in this same arena a month ago. Maybe a bit worse. The Crash can take pride in outdrawing Baracal, but probably at twice the price.
And AAA, who everyone diehard fan hates, who does have that history of not delivering what they’ve promised, who were putting out really bland cards at the time, filled this same Gimnasio Juan de la Barrera. And they filled much larger arenas with the same sort of cavalcade of foreign stars for the Lucha World Cup. AAA convinced people the (completely new and invented) Lucha World Cup because they got advertisers and media to treat like the competition was an important deal, because AAA had existed in the market for 20 years, and because they convinced people that winning the last match meant a lot. The same thing happened in January: AAA convinced people Johnny Mundo versus Pentagon Jr. was a match they had to see, at prices that weren’t much cheaper than these. The Crash told people they were the new alternative company, and did a great job in convince people they would have really good matches, and drew all the people who would come to a Wednesday night show to see really good matches. There’s not enough of those people to fill the building.
(aside 1: Lucha Memes should’ve also been a warning sign. Lucha Memes does great crowd, much better than the many other Mexico City area promotions who are trying to the same concept. They just had a really good card last month, have a track record of delivering on their shows, and still drew less last time. The quality of matches alone only appears to a relatively low amount of the people, important matches draw more people.)
(aside 2: PWG seems to be the cited example for The Crash, I bring it up too, but the goal should be NXT. PWG isn’t running 5000 seat buildings, and is getting friendly wrestler discounts because being there is so important. NXT is getting discounts in their own way, but their big show started in the sizeof buildings The Crash tries. NXT also made their shows easy to see for people who were not in the arena, which substantially helped spread the word about the brand. This is a horse I’ve beaten long past the point of death, but The Crash and other promotions inability to broadcast their shows isn’t just costing them the money they make from people buying iPPVs, but greatly diminishing the benefits they’d get for running good shows. In 2017, if people can’t see a professional looking version of your event, no one but the most diehard fans are going to care. Distributing their should not be something The Crash “should be trying to get to” or “aiming for”, this is something they should’ve been doing for months and everyone involved with the company should be freaking out that this hasn’t happened yet.The Crash is trying to start a fire with two rocks when there’s a convince store with matches around the corner, and it’s craziness. It’s nice of the Crash to take a cell phone into the crowd and shoot video from the 20th row, but that means nothing.)
This is not bleak. Any buzz for a good show helps. The Crash didn’t drew well in Tijuana when it started out, and worked it’s way there by being the Tijuana show people had to go to see. They started off with a Mexico City with a good show, and should draw better if they keep delivering good shows. This is not hopeless, this show is just a stark reminder of the job ahead of them. I suspect the spin is going to be that The Crash knew they weren’t going to draw well in the first try and it would always be this hard, but then it would’ve made sense to built to a show this jammed with stars instead of trying to take over night one. The Crash can still get where they want to be, but it’s going to cost them a lot of money in the short term to build their name in Mexico City. They’re going to figure out if it’s worth it.
The decision to run Wednesdays seemed to be because it was the only day they could get a lot of these wrestlers, especially Fenix & Penta. The Lucha Brothers schedule shows no sign of slowing down, and I wonder if The Crash is ultimately going to have to choose between centering around those guys or choosing more friendly days to run. The show ended live around midnight, which is a rough end time on a Wednesday. The fans were into the main event, but there were people visibly walking out before the show ended.
Hijo del Pirata Morgan actually announced he was leaving AAA earlier in the day, but word generally hadn’t gotten out before he debuted. Pirata quit AAA in the fall, but came back at Heroes Inmortales as a surprise entrant in Copa Antonio Pena. He left AAA for such a short time that most people who follow AAA probably just thought he wasn’t used on a few TV tapings. AAA didn’t have any more interesting plans for Hijo del Pirata of late, occasionally teasing a breakup and feud with Pirata Sr. (who might also be gone.) Pirata was talked up by Konnan when he was still with AAA and fits in better with the Crash. Pirata is listed on both the San Luis Potosi and Tlaxcala tapings, but AAA taping cards are expected to change anyway.
Demus 3:16 is a logical jump along the same lines. He’s already working a lot of indies, and he’s got no hope of doing anything in CMLL. CMLL’s decided most of the minis matches are going to be the first or second card, once in a great while they’ll have a title match or an apuesta match in the fourth card, but no more, and not many of those chances. Those matches pay about nothing, while Demus can make some good money by being Mascarita Dorada’s opponent in Mexico, in the US, and beyond. He wasn’t as definite about leaving CMLL, but the gig he’s taking is much better than one he has. Demus bringing up the idea of merging the minis with the regular division was reflective of this reality: the minis have no chance of earning bigger opportunities in CMLL as it’s currently run, are just dependent on the rest of the promotion getting hot and everyone being paid well. (Of course, the minis who did move up aren’t doing much better.) Both Demus & his brother Akuma were listed as working at least one US lucha indie, and in upcoming months, and I’d assume there will be a lot more.
Sexy Dulce’s suffering an ankle injury, which conveniently took her out of a title match she repeatedly implied she wasn’t doing, is suspicious. I know there’s a report saying it’s serious, but it’s the third straight Mexican title she’s lost without actually losing. It doesn’t really mean anything. Everyone Mexican promoter should’ve already been aware that Sexy is essentially the new female Mil Mascaras, someone who’s going to be forever popular but isn’t going to be putting anyone over. She has value and could be useful, but probably shouldn’t be around anything important. (The Crash’ Women’s title is not important and probably will never be, so whatever happened is pretty much irrelevant.) I’d say we’d know this is a legit injury if she misses the boxing match, but she still doesn’t have an opponent for it right now and reports about her career have mentioned plans for her debut being pushed back previously. This could be a convenient way to push it back again.
Matt Sydal posted on Twitter that weather issues caused his flights to be delayed for eight hours and he apologized for missing the show. Sydal was flying out of Atlanta and I believe man of no social media AR Fox is based out of Atlanta, so I would guess he had the same issue. It didn’t appear either absence was mentioned to the crowd. It didn’t seem to matter except for people looking for autographs before the show. Most of the roster was in the day before for the press conference.
Fenix’s name was listed as both Rey Fenix (US) and The King on the video screen. I could not tell you what that man’s name is right now.
Kind of wonder if the Carlito/Alberto thing was actually setting up the new DistrioMania main event, since that’s probably the next show Alberto is working in this building and he needs a someone to replace Drew Galloway.
La Aficion reported there were problems with the meet & greet (Rey showed up late and fans only got about 15 minutes with him) and online ticketing. There was also a paragraph about being unhappy about the media area being overcrowded which seems to have been removed during the night. They took advantage of their media access to write a story that still included Matt Sydal in the main event. (Again, Sydal can’t be that well known if people didn’t even notice he was not there.)
No next date in Mexico City was announced. Actually, the Crash hasn’t announced any next dates yet, likely because they’re were so focused on this show. They’re expected to run in Tijuana on May 5th with the Young Bucks.
Ayako Hamada defeated Taya to win the AAA Reina de Reinas championship (12:55, Michinoku Driver, ok)
Johnny Mundo defeated Hijo del Fantasma and Texano Jr. to retain the AAA Latin American Championship and win the AAA Cruiserweight & Heavyweight Championship (16:27, Fin de Mundo, good)
Aerostar beat Súper Fly to keep Aerostar’s mask & win SuperFly’s hair (8:28 + 0:03 on the restart, rana, good)
Aerostar took Super Fly’s hair, though Vampiro appeared to be 99% responsible for the win. Super Fly used concealed knuckles to knock out Aerostar. A light show and music heralded Vampiro to the ring, where he dramatically kicked out the referee responsible (Copetes) and ordered the match restarted. Before Super Fly even realized the match was happening, Aerostar cradled him for three. Super Fly tried to leave, but Vampiro brought him back to the ring to get his head shaved. The match had been no DQ and falls count anywhere up to that point.
Johnny Mundo won all three men’s singles titles, in a three way that was turned into a title match by an off camera Vampiro. (They saved his reveal until the main event.) Fantasma and Texano had differing views on how handle this match: Texano wanted to straight team up to take out Mundo, while Fantamsa wanted it to be every man for themselves. This eventually cost Texano, who relented on hitting his friend with a chair. Fantasma repaid the kidness by giving Texano a Thrill of the Hunt on that same chair. Texano was put in a neck brace and on a stretcher and that’s the end of him for now. (This came off like an angle, though perhaps one to explain an already existing Texano injury. He didn’t seem quite himself.) Mundo only won after the second ref bump, instigated by the debuting Kevin Kross. Kross wasn’t named, and the editing made it tough to tell where he came from, but he laid out Fantasma to set up the win for Mundo and presented him with the belts after the match.
Ayako Hamada cleanly defeated Taya to win the Reina de Reinas championship.
Noti AAA focuses on a childen who tried out for La Llave de la Gloria. AAA is for the kids. There does seem to be more than 30 people here but it’s hard to get idea from what they show.
AAA was part of filming for a Ni Tu Ni Yo movie. People are drinking wine at a lucha show in Arena San Juan, which is the most unlikely thing I’ve seen.
Enterances are back this week, and the new idea is to mix shots of a video of the wrestler as they walk out.
Where can I watch it:
This was the better show of the two Rey de Reyes and one where it felt like things were happen. The matches just didn’t totally live up to the occasion; two finishes were totally in service of new angles and the third match just never clicked.
Aerostar/Super Fly was great for the first eight minutes. I’m not sure how badly Super Fly was hurt – his elbow and arm had pads he usually doesn’t have and seemed to be protecting it at times – but it didn’t stop him from giving a full effort. Starting a match by diving to the floor to hit no one is the message, and he made the brawling really work well. AAA was better prepared to cover a crowd brawl than usual, and while they missed some points (like whatever wound caused Aerostar to lose 10% of his blood), it was easier to watch than usual. Notably, and very happily, this wasn’t the old AAA singles match where the rudo second took half the match and the tecnicos second stood around dumbly until getting in one dive. There were no seconds, and all the attention was on the guys actually in the match. Super Fly & Aerostar were on a great pace, they just lacked a few (maybe five?) minutes to do near falls to play off the drama of the moment. Instead, they got about one minute, a silly ref bump and Vampiro becoming the true winner of the match.
There was no confusion about who was the man of the moment. Aerostar was dead from the moment he got hit until four minutes later when Vampiro restarted the match, then dead again after the pin. Vampiro literally had the bright lights shined on him and played to the crowd, and it’s he who has the feud with Super Fly going forward. Aerostar was incidental to the while thing, and Super Fly was only involved to give Vampiro someone to foil. It’s hard to appreciate a match when it’s so obviously been repurposed to be someone else’s moment in the end.
The intention might have been to do something along the lines of Dario Cueto restarting the Chavo Guerrero versus Rey Mysterio Jr. loser leaves town match, with the match being restarted because the stakes were so high, but that Lucha Underground match continued for three more minutes. It gave time for the focus to shift back to the people in the match, and the statement there was they’d have a decisive winner in a big match. AAA already had a decisive winner in this match – there’s no explanation why chairs were legal but knucks were not – and ending it immediately after the restart kept the focus on Vampiro’s decision to restart it. Even if they absolutely had to do a spot where Vampiro does something positive to re-enforce it being a “new era”, it shouldn’t have been a weapon spot. Those are going to keep on happening anyway. It should’ve been Hijo del Tirantes running in, fast counting for Super Fly, and Vampiro declaring Tirantes’ antics were over to blow off that storyline instead of ignoring it. They had part of that idea by kicking out Copetes (who also has been a rudo at times), but they either didn’t execute it well. Or they executed it perfectly to make Vampiro the focus, because they feel like they need new top stars and decided to go with Vampiro. The original idea seemed to elevate Aerostar, but it did the least for him out of everywhere involved.
Texano versus Fantasma versus Mundo didn’t live up to it’s potential early, but got there at the end. They just seemed out of sorts at first, with Mundo blowing a springboard that couldn’t be hidden, then later doing a neat escape dive onto his feet on the floor but everyone being totally confused as to what they were supposed to do next. Even when the moves were going right, they didn’t seem to be landing well. The one part I did like early on was everyone pulling each out and into another cradle, something I’ve not see quite that way before. Still, I could’ve happily skipped most everything that happened before the first ref bump. (Lot of ref bumps on this show.)
Texano appeared heavier than usual and, while he didn’t take it totally easy, he seemed to do less than usual to the point where I was watching it trying to figure out if he had just come into the match with a neck strain and this was their way of writing him out. It flowed a lot better with Fantasma and Mundo, and Fantamsa’ tope on this show was his best in AAA in a long time. Mundo trying a half dozen times to cheat was a good character bit, and he seemed to be the most over rudo of the night. Kross looked impressive in his moves, especially the back suplex, and the extra-bit of Mundo still hitting his finish made a difference. This was a setup for a new direction but at least the direction looked promising.
Taya/Ayako didn’t work at all; it’s generous to call it even OK. They did a match heavily built around strikes while seemingly being cautious about actually touching each other. Every slap of the mat was super loud, and even the side kicks to chest were making no sound. I don’t know if they were both just concerned about being too hard with a person they didn’t know, but it just didn’t look good for most of the way, slightly picked up in the last few minutes and then still had those same problems. Crowd didn’t care about this at all, which isn’t too surprising: it’s a ruda versus someone they haven’t seen in years (and was a ruda then), and Ayako’s doesn’t play up being a tecnica strong enough to make it work. Taya’s work is not great but it’s more Ayako not being even as into the match as she was the goofy elimination match either and sleep walking in what should be a big match. It never feels that way, and Taya’s long title reign ends just quietly.