Recapped: 07/29/2018. All matches aired from Ecatepec live.
Astrolux, Lady Maravilla, Vanilla beat Keyra, Látigo, Starfire
(6:55, Astrolux flip huracanrana Latigo, good, Lucha Libre AAA (Twitch))
Carta Brava, Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana beat Aramis, El Bandido, Flamita
(7:42, Mocho Cota elbow drop Aramis, good, Lucha Libre AAA (Twitch))
Lady Shani, Mamba, Pimpinela Escarlata beat Australian Suicide, Faby Apache, Parka Negra
(9:48, Shani bridging pin Faby, ok, Lucha Libre AAA (Twitch))
Puma King, Jack Evans, Teddy Hart beat La Máscara, Máximo, Sammy Guevara
(13:07, Puma King casita Máximo, good, Lucha Libre AAA (Twitch))
Hijo del Fantasma, Juventud Guerrera, Taurus beat Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly
(14:15, Fantasma Thrill of the Hunt, ok, Lucha Libre AAA (Twitch))
La Parka, Pagano, Psycho Clown beat Killer Kross, Rey Escorpión, Texano Jr.
(19:12, Psycho Clown torito Rey Escorpión, ok, Lucha Libre AAA (Twitch))
An early segment had Parka complaining about the outside groups, again. MAD came out to confront him, with Fantasma apparently now part of MAD. Fantasma said Juventud Guerrera was a bigger star than La Parka, which ended with Parka attacking Guerrera and MAD attacking Parka. Psycho Clown made the save. Parka later replaced the announced Dr. Wagner in the main event. Jack Evans and Juventud Guerrera interfered in the main event, along with Hijo del Tirantes helping the MAD team. Murder Clown improbably made the save, and teased a match with Killer Kross. Psycho beat Escorpion in the confusion. Fantasma and MAD beat up the tecnicos post-match, taking Psycho & Murder’s masks.
La Mascara & Maximo, for the third show running, had issues at the end of their tag match. Maximo, who is the tecnico in the breakup, outright broke up a Mascara pin. Mascara slapped Maximo after the match, which led to Mamba & Pimpinela running in to run Maximo off.
Faby evaded facing Lady Shani early during their match, then both women attacked each other with a cookie sheet. Shani got the win again, only to be attacked by Taurus once again and cut open. Post-show promos reaffirmed Taurus is helping Faby Apache as part of a recruiting effort to get her to jump to Elite.
An early vignette had Konnan talking about Fenix’s appearance at Verano de Escnadalo and how they didn’t fight then, but Fenix might not be so lucky next time. That was the only appearance of either of them. Vampiro also did not appear on screen, which might be for the first time since his return to the promotion.
The first skippable show of this most recent era. It’s the same show they’ve been running for weeks – the same Shani/Faby bit with Taurus running in, the same bit of Fantasma unmasking Psycho and leaving him laying, the same Maximo/Mascara break up which gets reset by the next show. Running weekly is going to lead to repetition (and might even be necessary if they’re actually airing on two different networks), but the lack of variety compounds the lack of movement. They don’t seem to have anything but those three feuds going on and they can’t (or won’t) cycle anything else up.
It’s a bad idea to watch AAA for the storylines, no matter who’s in charge. Those storylines aren’t the reasons people are excited to watch AAA at the moment anyway. It’s all about the quality of matches they’ve added. When those matches are great, AAA also running the umpteenth “Psycho Clown gets beat up to end the show” bit is irrelevant. When the matches are a little bit off, like it was for the segunda here, then the other issues come to light. The early matches might have been better with more time (or a better use of it in the second), and the fourth match actually exceeded expectations given Mascara & Maximo were involved, but there wasn’t the must-see match this time around. AAA’s essentially in the classic CMLL scenario right now, where the talent level has reached a critical mass level and it’d be hard for them to have a bad show, but it’s still possible to underwhelm.
If you do want to have storylines be interesting, the one real development on this show – Fantasma jumping to MAD – probably should’ve happened on screen, instead of being an unexplained bit. That was a strange choice, seemingly accidentally re-enforcing the perceptions that these groups are no more meaningful than what t-shirts people happen to be wearing that day. If a group is important, then choosing to join a group and the moment someone joins should be a dramatically important moment, not something that happens quietly off screen. MAD is getting a reaction because they’re rudos doing rudo things, but the concept of “MAD” and “Elite” aren’t getting over because they’re not treated as meaningful things.
Not that the main event would’ve lit the world on fire with Dr. Wagner instead of Parka, but it totally turned into the Parka/Psycho comedy brawling main event. Kross being paired up with Parka was something less ideal. If the idea is to make Kross being a ‘real’ fighter, there’s no worse use of him than selling for Parka’s goofy offense for most of the match, and for Parka to barely sell for Kross’ own offense. The upside is they didn’t give Pagano much of a chance to maim himself. Escorpión & Texano can do these sort of brawls well, and the crowd enjoyed this match (as they enjoyed much of this show.) It wasn’t much interesting watching it on a stream.
The semi-main was the least exciting match of the card to that point. It was the same chaos as the matches that preceded, but at a slower speed and with less interesting action. It didn’t have the benefit of a rivalry like those other matches, so Hijo del Tirantes feuded with Averno instead. They finally found a groove late in the match and this wasn’t bad but mostly forgettable. I would encourage new top rudo Fantasma to not run away from fights in the future. Fantasma needing even the slightest bit of help to beat Averno doesn’t make a lot of sense but it’s the AAA way.
The fourth match was mostly carried by the rudos, which is notable because some of those rudos wouldn’t be guys you’d expect to keep matches together. The rudos rolled thru their offense well and sold for the técnico characters. Teddy doesn’t seem to like dealing with Máximo but was more of a professional than usual. Jack and Sammy, one night after having a big singles match, were really great working together in their spots. There were some sloppy moments and the finish somehow was worked around Máximo breaking up pins but being the good guy in the breakup, though that’s not enough to take this match down.
The tercera was a lot of Lady Shani & Faby Apache hitting each other with cookie sheets while the other four did a normal exotico match. Shani showed some good anger on the kicks to Faby’s head. The blood was a bit unexpected, but I guess that’s now just their thing to drum up interest since it keeps happening with them. Faby & Shani’s exchanges were the best and hottest part of this match, and it’s that part is helping get the feud to the point of people caring. Suicide’s comedic antics were appreciated, though it felt like there were a lot more useful spots for him to be in on this show. Exoticos did the kiss spot early, went to it again later, and it didn’t get as much a reaction the second time. Not sure why they did it so early.
The segunda had a lot of quick and impactful offense. Strangely, it seemed to be 75% the rudos. I kept waiting for the técnicos to have a hot run of moves. They got short bits of it, but never took over the match for a couple minutes in the usual showcase match. It was worked like AAA didn’t expect the técnicos to be back, and wanted to make sure the rudos came off as the stars of the match. Bandido and Aramis still got in cool dives, and they all showed a little bit of why people would be excited for them, but it was too one-sided to make the newer guys mean anything.
The opener is on the shorter end of one of these when they could do more, which meant some people disappeared into the background. Latigo was really great as the base for everyone, he is one of the best guys in Mexico at that right now. The finish was spectacular, but the early part of the match was him setting up Lady Maravilla and Vanilla up for big moves too. If AAA is going to continue running high spot intensive matches to open up shows, Latigo should be a regular rudo as part of them.