All matches aired live from Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo. Spanish announcers were the default three (Arturo, Jesus and Andres). English announcers were Vampiro and Jeremy Borash.
The show was proceeded by a Red Carpet arrival (and then 45 minutes of nothing happening.)
Drago beat Aerostar, La Parka, Mocho Cota Jr., Carta Brava Jr., Tito Santana in a Guitarra de Oro qualifying match
(6:54, Drago DDT Mocho Cota, ok)
Marty The Moth Shaman? beat Monsther Clown, Murder Clown, Dark Cuervo, Dark Scoria in a Guitarra de Oro qualifying match
(5:40, Marty foul? Scoria, ok)
Australian Suicide beat Súper Fly, Averno, Chessman, Argenis in a Guitarra de Oro qualifying match
(6:59, tornillo senton Chessman, ok)
Texano Jr. beat Hijo del Fantasma, Eddie Edwards, James Storm, EC3 in a Guitarra de Oro qualifying match
(8:11, Texano pin EC3, ok)
Lady Shani beat La Hiedra
(7:53, front facelock submission, ok)
Dr. Wagner Jr. & Pagano beat Psycho Clown & Rey Escorpión
(13:50, legdrop, ok)
Texano beat Drago, Marty The Moth, Australian Suicide to win the Guitarra de Oro
(8:14, Texano foul/small package Suicide, good)
The undercard was four qualifying matches for a golden guitar final. (The guitar wasn’t as gold as you’d think.) Texano won with a foul on Australian Suicide. Fantasma came to the ring after the match, everyone else came out to fight for no real reason, everyone else left for no real reason, and Texano took Fantasma’s mask.
Rey Escorpion is not a tecnico, and started trying to steal the pin from Psycho midway thru. Psycho eventually turned on him to give Pagano the win. Wagner fouled Psycho after the match. (Pagano had no problem with Wagner; Pagano’s pre-TripleMania tecnico turns seems to have stopped cold.)
Lady Shani used the Sexy Star cross armbreaker in the women’s match, in a purposeful reference to the TripleMania bit. It didn’t go anywhere. She won by another submission. Tirantes helped Hiedra in the match for no explained reason.
El Fantasma (Sr.) joined the commentators, who explained Fantasma has suffered a heart attack earlier this week after a match but was doing better now. Late in the match, Texano tried to get James Storm to threat Fantasma (Sr.) with a chair. Storm took about two steps in that direction, Hijo del Fantasma kicked the chair into Storm’s face, Texano knocked Fantasma to the floor, then stole his pin on EC3 after Fantasma had already hit him with his finish.
Averno talked up the dome of cage match before attacking Argenis to start their match.
Marty is a shaman now for some reason. Vampiro definitely gave a reason, but it was a long and winding story that didn’t make a lot of sense and it was just easier to accept Marty is a shaman for some reason and move on.
The opener was changed to a trios match with Tito Santana added to the match, which seemed to go unnoticed by the announcers. An unmasked Kahn-Del-Mal ran in as a replacement referee after Tirantes was taken down, and quickly ended up stomped by all the rudos. (This seemed like an inside joke.)
The show seemed sparsely attended. It was mostly the resort sold ringside seats which looked empty, but the glimpses of the bleachers (which were sold available to locals or people who weren’t part of the resort package) didn’t seem that full. It wasn’t that big of a building. The earthquake – and the money either lost due to it or being used to help people out instead of on entertainment – is probably going to mean lesser turnout to lucha libre for some time. It’s unclear if this was all due to disaster, but it obviously was a factor.
Like normal for the Hard Rock shows, the matches weren’t much. The effort level isn’t there as much usual (especially with the foreigners), but the match arrangements didn’t really lend themselves to being good matches. All of the qualifying matches were 3v2 handicap matches, with maybe the patners getting around to stealing pins from each other on the end. The idea was not so great that it needed to be seen four times. There were also too many rudos on the card, which meant a bunch of people who just turned (Texano, Sucidie, Escorpion just showed up, who knows what Cuervo/Escoria are right now) had to play tecnico for the night due to the numbers. The tournament final was the lone multiman match worked with everyone for themselves for most of the match, and was easily the most exciting match of the night even though they did another foul on a show that had a few of them.
The women’s match was the only totally normal match of the show – except, even then, it was built around Tirantes helping La Hiedra for no real reason. Or maybe the reason is they didn’t have confidence in the women to tell a story without that crutch. I’m not sure they would’ve been wrong: there were moves, some good, but not too much of a rhythm or a story here. Neither woman is far along enough to have a good match without help. Shani can do some cool and hard looking spots, but she doesn’t come off as a complete wrestler. It’d be great if the singles match with Ayako at Heroes Inmortales is the moment where Shani finally can put it all together, but it feels too soon for her to be champion if that’s going to mean something. It’d be another false start, but she could use a series of matches to finally overcome Ayako and not just the win right away.
Still, despite the criticisms. this was an easy show to watch, like the strangest possible CMLL b-show. There’s little you have to go back and watch, but you didn’t mind it while it was on. Once the matches started, it was only about two hours. There were no big angles to get thru. (The tease of Fantasma being attacked was over so quick, you didn’t have time to be offended about it.) The tournament gave the show some sort of self confined direction. Vampiro pushed it as something they might do on this show every year, which might work if the tournament was a little bit better centered up. AAA has a lot of dead time that could be cleaned up and it’d be better experience if they explained what time the show was actually going to start, but it wasn’t really presented as a live show anyway. It was a free peek into an AAA TV taping, and they made no changes because it happened to be airing live.
The presentation had more to talk about than the show. I listened to both versions of the show. The Spanish announced were as usual. They got so close to saying Shooting Star Press right. Jeremy Borash & Vampiro said they were doing the English version on two hours notice. You wouldn’t have known it. Borash sounded like he generally followed the promotion. He got tripped a few things on some stuff – he made the La Parka mistake, in the great tradition of everyone who does that job – but he got most of it and it felt like you were listening to a professional broadcast. Everyone has and will make the obvious comparisons but, to be fair, it’s worth noting this was a lot easier show to call than the obscure came filled TripleMania, and Borash is appears to be Impact’s connection to AAA – part of his current job description is literally to know what’s going on here. That didn’t make the job easy: beyond the matches, there was also the donation requests and the craziest cohost to navigate. Vampiro was a better than his TripleMania misadventures, as he’s obviously way more into the product now that he’s responsible for it. We got insights into storylines that didn’t seem to be explained elsewhere – like that the women’s match had Lady Shani’s title shot on the line, which wasn’t mentioned on the Spanish side. We also got insights into thinks that weren’t meant to be the show. Vampiro leaving the desk to instruct camera people about how he wanted something shot, or to yell at the OGT to cut out the fake breakup bit they were starting, were amusing as part of a broadcast but probably not the best thing for the show. That’s not Vamp’s fault – doing live announcing of a show you’re also producing seems like too much for anyone to do both jobs well, and yet they probably couldn’t find anyone else on short notice for that chair. I think Borash might have been able to handle it on his own, but that’s a tough ask for someone who’s never called the promotion before, and Vamp didn’t kill the show this time.
I don’t know what they’re going to do next time. Borash definitely suggested there will be a next time, strongly suggested Heroes Inmortales will air on the service again. Vampiro started off his part of the show by apologizing to Matt Striker for not having him there, did it again a second time later, and put over Kevin Gill when his name came up in passing. Borash will be an option as long as there’s the alliance with Impact, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the others are back to join him. I do think they (both AAA & Twitch) were pleasantly surprised about how well TripleMania did and would guess it opened the door to more tapings airing live (something AAA’s talked about doing in the past).
At the same time, I was disappointed there wasn’t more money in collected for the charity by the end. I think it ended up around $3500, around $1 for every viewer at the peak. I know most things I follow using the “free but please donate money if you like it” don’t really come anywhere close to $1/viewer, so I guess it’s not bad, but it feels like it should be more. Charity fundraising is pretty common on Twitch thru gaming, and maybe there are some ideas that could be ported over from there if this is tried again. For my part, I think I had a good idea with the dive bit but executed it wrong – the best idea is to keep the donation total moving, so I should’ve just been dropping $5 every time that dive happened.
It IS ~$3500 (plus whatever ad revenue AAA made) that’s going to Save the Children that wouldn’t have happened before. That’s a success. And it was an enjoyable show. That’s also a success.