Fantasma/Texano apuesta match at Rey de Reyes, 4 titles change hands at Guerra de Titanes, Terrible still champion

women’s match felt very real

AAA TV (FRI) 01/26/2018 Gimnasio Olímpico Juan de la Barrera, Ciudad de México, Distrito Federal [AAACultIconEstrellas del Ringthecubsfan]
Guerra de Titanes, 2018
1) Australian Suicide b Lanzelot © [AAA CRUISER]
11:47. Austrailan twisted around Lanzelot’s mask to blind him before beating him. Lanzelot falsl on his second defense. Suicide is the 11th champion.
2) Faby Apache b Lady Shani © [Reina De Reinas]
8:24. Faby won the title cleanly with a German suplex. Faby Apache wrestled more rudas, though was still heavily cheered upon winning. Shani falls on her third defense, second defense on TV. Faby is the 24th Champion.
4) Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana b Aerostar, Drago, Raptor and Argenis, Bengala, Máscara de Bronce and Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly © [AAA TRIOS]
16:18. Elimination rules, with Chessman beat to eliminate the OGTs, Raptor to eliminate his team, and Bengala after a foul pinned to give the Poder del Norte the win. They’re 11th champions, this is their second reign. OGT fall on their first defense. They attacked Poder del Norte after the win.
5) Psycho Clown NF Rey Escorpión [bull terrier]
18:06. Psycho appeared to win by DQ when Murder & Monster ran in. AAA’s recap says the match ended with no decision. Two masked man made the save, and revealed themselves to be La Mascara & Maximo, reuniting the Brazos.
5) Dark Cuervo, Dark Scoria, La Parka b Dave The Clown, Monsther Clown, Murder Clown [street]
13:45. La Parka pinned Dave with a urange.
6) Dr. Wagner Jr. b Johnny Mundo © [AAA HEAVY]
19:05. Seconds were Hernandez & Hijo de Dr. Wagner. Vampiro was special referee. The younger Wagner betrayed his father, attacking him and Vampiro from behind with chair shots, then passing the blame to Hernandez. Wagner turned again more obviously later on. It did not affect the outcome of the match. Vampiro beat up the rudos, give Mundo a chokeslam, waited for Wagner to crawl on top, and made replacement referee Copetes count the pin. Mundo faills on his seventh defense (and this appears as though it’s his final match in AAA.) Wagner is 15th champion.
7) Hijo del Fantasma © DQ Texano Jr. [cage, AAA LA]
13:06. Hijo del Tirantes helped Texano three times during the match. Bengala (acknowledged as Texano’s brother) came out to counter, spitting water in his brother’s face. The match was suddenly stopped by Vampiro and the commission. AAA’s explanation is Texano was DQed for Bengala and Tirantes interference. Both men (and Bengala & Tirantes) brawled post match, which included Vampiro making their hair/mask match for Rey de Reyes on 03/04.

Rey Wagner told the press he had no idea why his son turned. There’s no great explanation of the main event finish to be found. AAA’s recap is insistent Faby is 100% ruda now; it didn’t come across that way in the match. Faby was 100% a ruda in her backstage inteview, telling the press she’d accept a hair versus match with Lady Shani because Shani is years away from being anything beyond a rookie.

I could’ve sworn Psycho got his hand raised, I just do not care enough to go back enough to look. Vampiro, responding to criticism about getting involved as a referee, said he can do what he wants. That appears to be true! He also said it’s a one time thing. That appears to be a total lie; he’s already forgotten he did this multiple times last year. And he’ll be doing it again.

This was a fun show until the last two matches, which over shadowed the rest. The Wagner/Mundo match not only featured Vampiro putting Vampiro over as expect, but Hijo del Wagner turning on his father and interfering frequently in a title match. There was no DQ. The final match was Fantasma & Texano in a cage, with Hijo del Tirantes interfering frequently and Bengala interfering once. That was enough to call a DQ, even though cage matches are typically no DQ matches. The end of the match was about as cold as it could be and I have trouble believing anyone thought that was a really good way to send people home or to build up Fantasma & Texano for Rey de Reyes.

We didn’t get a good match out of that main event, but we did get some big questions. Fantasma & Texano is now definitely not the TripleMania apuesta match, and there’s no clear answer on what will be that match. Vampiro & Mundo still were feuding, but Taya said Mundo was done with AAA now. Wagner/Wagner would be strange. There are still a lot of fans who love La Parka, and yet there’s no way Dave/Parka would be an acceptable big show main event. They have plenty of time to figure this out; Wagner/Psycho was announced a year in advance, Pagano/Psycho wasn’t really clear until March. (Psycho also seems the pattern here, and all three Brazos taking on Escorpion/Murder/Monster in a triple apuesta match, or something similar, does not seem out of the question.)

The other big question is what does a Texano hair versus Fantasma mask match taking place on March 4th mean for their roles in Lucha Underground? The safe bet is Texano is losing, yet it’d really be weird if he was just suddenly bald one week. Maybe that means Fantasma and King Cuerno are losing, which would be odd to choose to lose one of Lucha Underground characters right after also losing another one in Prince Puma. (Though that visual of his ending still makes me think there will be a new Prince Puma at some point.) Maybe LU can cleverly write around this issue, it just seems like the results in one of these two promotions are going to spoil the other one.

The attendance looked good, though there were noticeable empty sections in the upper levels. The fans did seem to be arriving late and leaving early – the main event going on past midnight probably was too much for a heavy family crowd. You could see that in the Twitch viewership numbers too; peaking at around 7500 for the Wagner/Mundo match and dropping after that finish and thru the main event (and really dropping the rest of the way.)

If you watched on Twitch, you heard Hugo Savinovich & Jose Manuel Guillen call the show, not the the usual Televisa announcers. There is a reason for this beyond being on Twitch. AAA’s recap of the event mentions their shows will also start airing on Space channel starting on February 3rd. Space is owned by Turner and looks like it focuses on modern action/fantasy/sci-fi movies. The same channel airs in Mexico and in many Latin American countries, and I do not believe Televisa’s airing elsewhere, so this would gain the promotion visibility in countries they’re hoping to get into in the near future. It’s also possible Space is paying them for the show, which Televisa is believed not too. I don’t think this would mean AAA is giving up the Televisa show any time soon – the visibility of being on a free over the air channel is something they’d be unlikely to give up – but I’d guess Televisa doesn’t want people associated with them to appear on another network and so there will be two different crews for the time being.

Should be noted that Space’s programming guide doesn’t actually list AAA as airing on February 3rd at this point. AAA’s site says the show will air on the channel on Saturdays at 6:30 in Mexico and noon in the rest of the world.

This is also the same network which is working on the Ultima Caida TV show, which will be a fictional luchador series that crosses over into AAA. It makes sense they’d want to air AAA alongside of it to take advantage of what they’re building up. I’d assume this deal goes on as long as Ultima Caida works out.

This was AAA’s first of three straight Friday night tapings, building up TV for the Lucha Underground break. They’re in Toluca for a surprise main event, which will possible now involve La Mascara & Maximo. I’m not sure if they’ll air the show on Twitch as well.

It’s strange AAA is using Maximo and La Mascara by those names given how much time they’ve spent hounding their own former wrestlers for using the names they own. It’s come up before and maybe it’ll be back to being M-ximo once it shows up on posters and on TV. It does make it clear AAA’s not as concerned about the importance of trademark law as much as they are gaining control over people.

CMLL (FRI) 01/26/2018 Arena México [CMLL, CulticonOvaciones]
1) Akuma & Espanto Jr. b Flyer & Robin LUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 26 DE ENERO  DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rudos took 1/3.
2) Cancerbero, Nitro, Raziel b Astral, Eléctrico, Star Jr. LUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 26 DE ENERO  DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rudos took 2/3.
3) Audaz, Soberano Jr., Starman b Disturbio, Misterioso Jr., Virus LUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 26 DE ENERO  DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
rudos took 1/3, Virus pinning Audaz with a hand on the ropes in what appears to be a regular matchup going forward. Soberano replaced Drone, who appears to be suspended.
4) Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Stuka Jr. DQ Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón LUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 26 DE ENERO  DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
There was a moment of remembrance for Sahori before this match. Staright falls, Cuatrero DQed for unmasking Angel de Oro.
5) Terrible © b Diamante Azul [MEX HEAVYLUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 26 DE ENERO  DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Azul weighed in at 110.5 KG, Terrible at 105. Terrible took falls 2/3, the last turning Azul’s ramp leaping clothesline into an armabr for the submission. Second defense, second time versus Diamante Azul. Diamante Azul goes 1-3 in his seris of singles matches.
6) Atlantis, Dragón Lee, Volador Jr. b Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero LUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 26 DE ENERO  DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)

I only really watched the opener and parts of the second match, which were boring. The rest of the show was said to be pretty good. I feel cheated. (I’ll recap it later.)

Star Jr. replaced Drone on this show, and will also replace him Tuesday in Guadalajara. Drone’s now not listed on any poster. I do not believe CMLL would’ve pulled Drone from their show if they believed it was a simple medicine issue. CMLL normal policy for showing up in no condition to work is a quiet three week suspension. They’ve not at all publicly addressed the situation, but that seems likely what they’ve decided to do here. It also looks like Drone’s Facebook page has been deleted. (An older one is still out there.)

I don’t have full results from The Crash show yet. I do know they’re calling their new facility CARTC (Centro de Alto Rendimiento The Crash) and they drew a lot of people for their free show. They’re opening the center for business on Monday. Maximo & La Mascara did wrestle in the main event before showing up in AAA, and have to be assumed as being done with The Crash going forward. That means Los Ingobernables are back down to Rush & Pierroth everywhere. I have no idea what it means for Arolucha.

The Crash announced Diosa Atenea would get a match on their 02/16 show after impressing them on their tryout.

Times Herald Online has a bio on Payaso del Rodeo.

Lineups

Toryumon Mexico (SUN) 01/28/2018 Gimnasio Cuauhtemoc, Domo del Deportivo Plan Sexenal, Miguel Hidalgo, Distrito Federal
1) Notorius vs Pequeño Olímpico
2) Tortuguillo Karateka I & Tortuguillo Karateka II vs Fiero & Fireman
3) Lluvia & Princesa Sugehit vs Reina Isis & Tiffany
4) Argos, Oro Jr., Súper Ciudadano vs Arkángel de la Muerte, Karonte Jr., Patán
5) Magnus & Último Dragón vs Diamante & Sam Adonis

This is listed on the poster as Nipro Copa. I know a Toryumon Mexico card when I see it. Ultimo Dragon isn’t up to date on Audaz’s new character.

CMLL (FRI) 02/02/2018 Arena México
1) Astral & Eléctrico vs El Coyote & Templario
2) Audaz, Pegasso, Rey Cometa vs Kawato San, Misterioso Jr., Virus
3) Último Guerrero & Volador Jr. vs Gran Guerrero & Niebla Roja and Blue Panther & Sam Adonis and Hechicero & Soberano Jr. and Mephisto & Mistico and Diamante Azul & Pierroth and Cavernario & Titán and Rey Bucanero & Valiente [natl pi, battle royal]
4) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [natl pi, 8f]
5) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [natl pi, 8f]
6) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [natl pi, 8f]
7) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [natl pi, 8f]
8) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [natl pi, quarterfinal]
9) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [natl pi, quarterfinal]
10) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [natl pi, semifinal]
11) Atlantis, Carístico, Marco Corleone vs Euforia, Shocker, Terrible

First block of the annual tecnico/rudo tournament. UG & Volador, Niebla Roja & Gran Guerero and Mephisto & Mistico stand out as the favorites in this block. Really, it’s tough to figure who would be a challenge to Volador & Ultimo Guerrero in either block given how much those two guys win.

Kawato makes his debut, a few days later than scheduled. (Nitro replaces him on Tuesday. I yelled OH NO at my computer when I noticed that change.) Since Audaz & Virus are a pair, I’m guessing he’ll probably be matched up with Rey Cometa.

Astral & Electrico have much better opponents this week, hopefully they can do something with it.

AAA on Twitch: 2018-01-26 

leaping into the unknown

Recapped: 01/26/2018

All matches aired live from Gimnasio Olímpico Juan de la Barrera.

Matches: 

Australian Suicide beat Lanzelot © to win he AAA World Cruiserweight Championship
(11:47, F5 into a double knee gutbuster, good)

Faby Apache beat Lady Shani © to win the AAA’s Reina de Reinas championship
(8:24, Faby German suplex, great)

Dark Cuervo, Dark Scoria, La Parka beat Dave The Clown, Monsther Clown, Murder Clown
(13:45, La Parka urange Dave the Clown, ok)

Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana defeated Aerostar, Drago, Raptor and Angelikal, Bengala, Máscara de Bronce and Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly © to win the AAA World Trios Championship
(16:18, great)

Angelikal huracanrana Chessman (7:41)

Carta Brava frogsplash Raptor (10:59)

Mocho Cota Jr. pin Bengala (16:18)

Psycho Clown beat Rey Escorpión in a bull terrier match
(18:06, DQ for Murder/Monster run-in, great)

Dr. Wagner Jr. beat Johnny Mundo for the AAA World Heavyweight Championship
(19:05, Vampiro chokeslam, below average)

Hijo del Fantasma © beat Texano Jr. in a cage match to keep the AAA Latin American Championship
(13:06, inexplicable DQ, below average)

What happened: 

move when he tells you to move

AAA’s Guerra de Titanes was a pretty fun undercard with two bewildering matches prior to close it. Four title changed hands. Johnny Mundo appeared to finish up with the promotion, while La Mascara & Máximo debuted for the group. The entire show aired on Twitch, which was only announced a few hours before the show.

The cage match was moved to the main event spot, to save on dead time for construction. They might as well not have bothered with the cage. Hijo del Tirantes interfered three times to help Texano. Bengala came out and spat water in his brother’s face to stop him from escaping. At that point, Vampiro and the commissioner arrived to stop the match, declaring Fantasma the winner by DQ. It wasn’t clear why that happened and even the announcement of the finish was hard to understand. Fantasma and Texano made challenges, and brawled (with Bengala & Tirantes again getting involved), and Vampiro announced they’d have a hair match match in Rey de Reyes in six weeks from now.

Dr. Wagner Jr. is the new heavyweight champion, though that ended up the third most important story in his own match. His son, for reasons not explained on this show, attacked his father with a chair from behind to stop him from winning, then attacked Vampiro and tossed the chair to Hernandez to hide his turn. (Though not well; Hijo de Wagner was rooting for Mundo the rest of the way. Hernandez & Mundo didn’t seem to be part of Hijo de Wagner’s plan.) The match eventually continued for a few more minutes with a second referee before Hijo de Wagner took him out as well and revealed his betrayal to his father. Vampiro recovered, beat up all the rudos, chokeslammed Mundo, Wagner crawled on top for the pin, and Vampiro forced the referee to make the third count.

Johnny Mundo is currently listed on the Aguascalientes card, though Taya on Twitter quickly stated after the match that this would be Mundo’s final AAA show.

aim could’ve been a little better

Psycho Clown & Rey Escorpión’s chain match also finished strangely. It was at least better received. The match proceeded normally for a chain match (in that it took nearly ten minutes and security getting involved to get Escorpión to put on his part of the chain). Psycho was close to winning when Murder Clown & Monster Clown ran in for the DQ. Two mystery men in masks made the save, and revealed themselves as Máximo & La Mascara. The Brazos are back together.

The four way trios title match was elimination style, which didn’t stop everyone from breaking up pins. (Also, Angelikal replaced Argenis, for reasons not explained.) Poder del Norte regained the titles by defeating the Bengala, Mascara de Bronce and Angelikal trio with an unseen foul. OGT immediately attacked the new champs after the match, making them the likely challengers.

La Parka got the best of Dave the Clown in their trios street fight. Parka was left alone with the Clowns after Cuervo & Scoria were put thru tables early. He managed to turn it around himself even before they got involved, and pinned Dave with an urange.

I don’t know why I don’t just have a galley of Faby reaction images

Faby Apache once again became Reina de Reinas champion by defeating Lady Shani. The match was mostly notable for being extremely hard hitting at times.

Australian Suicide won the Cruiserweight championship in the opener. Suicide twisted around Lanzelot’s mask to blind him for a moment, distracting the champ to set up the finish.

In a segment not shown on the Twitch stream, an in-ring segment was taped for the upcoming Ultima Caida show.

Thoughts: 

a part of the main event that looked good

This was another confounding evening with AAA. The undercard was generally a lot of fun. Look back it, there were a screwy finishes, but they didn’t feel like the fan got cheated out of anything. Chain match ending in a DQ was strange. Máximo & La Mascara showing up more than made up for it. There was no real problem with the other stuff, and the matches were entertaining even with a flaw here or there. The final two matches were the AAA classic disaster flicks, as we’ve come to know on big shows. Wagner/Mundo was flaws in ways expected ever since Vampiro was announced as being involved. Texano/Fantasma was an unexpected super flat ending to the show. It really cooled off what had been a hot show to that point.

The cage match ended flatter the state of Kansas. I’m very willing to believe something didn’t go right – someone missed their cue, someone screwed up the spot, some surprise no-showed and they had to scramble at the last second – because I have trouble believing anyone thought Fantasma winning by DQ in a cage match when the last thing that happened was someone interfering to help Fantasma. On the other hand, it doesn’t really matter why the finish sucked, it still sucked. I’m not sure the match would’ve been all that great anyway. Fantasma & Texano were working here, but saddled with having to build the match around Tirantes getting involved to help Texano many times. Tirantes hadn’t been involved in this feud until now and his involvement felt like lame AAA crap. Texano and Fantasma seemed to know how much failed by trying to make it up with it a big brawl afterwards to convince the fans. It’s tough to be convinced about anything positive at this point. Fantasma & Texano probably can have a great apuesta match. There’s zero reason to believe they’ll have a great one at Rey de Reyes. AAA obviously has zero trust on those two guys to do it themselves and will send people to get involved a million ways in a misguided attempt to help.

bad times for Aerostar

Speaking of misguided: even if Rey Wagner came to AAA and demanded they turn his son so they can feud, could they have at least done in a match where the father and son breakup isn’t treated as a midmatch transition spot? Hijo de Wagner’s turn came off as useless and irrelevant by the end of the match, when his turn didn’t mean anything. The only person who’s actions got the mean something in this match was Vampiro, who got his revenge on Johnny Mundo – for Johnny Mundo being angry at how poorly Vampiro acted, I guess. Vampiro did get a pop for doing Vampiro things, but Vampiro could’ve gotten a pop for doing Vampiro things at any time, and this could’ve been used to make someone who’s actually going to be wrestling for AAA for the next decade a bigger deal by running off Mundo. In the end, the person in charge of creative for AAA went with the idea that the best thing for AAA was the person in charge in creative getting their ego fed (and the people actually in charge of AAA was totally OK with that.) Making stars is irrelevant when it comes to getting yourself wins over people who don’t like you. The match really wasn’t much of anything before the angle override kicked it; Mundo wasn’t much good, maybe checked out because of the situation, and Wagner isn’t really doing a lot any more. It was a slower pace than anything else onto to the show up to this point.

Rey Escorpión is exactly the opponent Psycho Clown needs, so the non-finish there is actually a relief if it keeps the feud going. The post match teased Murder/Monster/Escorpion versus Maximo/Mascara/Psycho, which is not entirely as interesting. Rey Escorpión can do everything Psycho Clown loves to do – brawl, play off the crowd, bleed a disgusting amount – and do it even better than Psycho. Escorpión came off as a guy who really good at wrestling while being totally hateable, the correct opposite of Psycho. Máximo & La Mascara will probably do well in AAA, though I suspect they’ll end up like Wagner and continue to do a fair amount of indie dates on their own.

The four way match was complete and total chaos. It was the mostly the good kind of chaos, with guys fighting six at a time during the portion where all four teams were involved. It was also just a little hard to keep up with during those times. There was probably too much mask ripping in this match given how much there was also going to be the rest of the show and how little any of it really meant. (It did mean Angelikal and Drago were wrestling almost totally uncovered at points.) Angelikal seemed like he knew what he was supposed to be doing there, not just a late sub for Argenis, so there might be more to that story. Cota stealing Bengala’s mask, so we’re left to think he’s gone to the back to get a new one when he’s actually also going to the upper level to set up the moonsault, was a nice way of camouflaging that spot. There were just so many spots that I don’t think a lot of it really stood out – the random técnico trio probably ended doing the best because they were still around to do them when there were just two teams left. This was very watchable if hard to follow.

a long wait for Murder but it paid off for the other team

The street fight – the blood and the weapons – did the best it could to cover up the weakness of the match, but it still dragged in places. The long beatdown of Parka wasn’t at all interesting. Parka sells a lot by just laying there dead. There were some really bad looking spots later on. Parka was supposed to punch Dave to the start the comeback and it didn’t come close. Cuervo and Monster had a bulldog spot go very wrong. The ending sequence went well, carried by a forced by neat looking tope/table spot.

I’m not sure if I should be evaluating Lady Shani and Faby Apache as a wrestling match or a MMA bout. Shots were very often pulled. To Lady Shani’s credit, she tried to give it back to Faby just as hard as Faby was giving it to her. Faby just seemed to be doing more; the powerbomb prior to the finish looked super brutal. This continued the trend of the (non-CMLL) women’s matches looking like the stiffest fights in all of Mexico. If they’re both OK with how it went, I’d love to see the rematch.

Australian Suicide & Lanzelot had some really good spots, though not always in a logical order. The piledriver on the apron being a spot to slow the match down for rest holds was a strange choice. They picked up back at the end and the match finished pretty well. It wasn’t a very memorable match by the time the show ended – the trios match well eclipsed it for insanity. It still was a pretty good showing.

suicidal