TripleMania tonight, Caveman outsmarts american, LA Park/Rush

trying to get more out of this splash than they did in the match

TripleMania is today. AAA’s annual biggest show of the year takes place in tonight in Arena Ciudad de Mexico. The announced schedule, all in CT.

5:00: pre-pre-show: interviews, vignettes, maybe announcing the opening two matches?
7:00: llave a la gloria match, cruiserweight match, Dr. Alfonso Morales & El Apache added to AAA HOF
8:00: main card
11:00: four way mask match main event starts airing on Televisa (may start earlier in reality)

That is the time AAA is saying now. The problem is, AAA & Dorian Roldan announced a 7:30 start to the pre-show at the press conference on Tuesday, and many people with AAA (including “the producer of the show” and one of the promotions involved) seem to think that’s still the start time. Plus, the tickets say the doors are opening at 7, so no one’s going to be in the building at first. That 7:00-7:30 could go as planned, could have nothing but the same song being played over crowd shots, or could have chickens running around with their heads cut off. It’s very good for the main card if AAA is going to start a half hour sooner, but expect the usual chaos.

The show will stream for free in Spanish on Twitch, where a best of TripleMania marathon is airing now. The show will be available on VOD if you subscribe to their Twitch channel ($5/month or free with Amazon Prime.) If you’re ever going to do that, even if you’re planning on watching live, this would be a great night to do it. Twitch has changed the way they’re handling ads now – they’re longer, they’re more often, and you may still see them if you’re logged in. You should not see them if you’re a subscriber.

There also is an English language feed, but don’t even bother. You are reading this site, so you likely have more interest and knowledge about what’s going on in AAA than you’ll get from that English announcing crew. You’ve probably also listened to the usual Spanish language crew and know you’ll be fine with them. There’s probably some news value in recording the dumb things Vampiro & Matt Striker say, but there’s not going to be any effect from them: AAA will bring them back again next year even if they’re terrible again, and everyone outside of Mexico will pretend it never happened. It also now appears like they won’t be calling the pre-show.

Twitch’s press release says “select” Twitch streamers will also be broadcasting the show. It’ll probably be like the World of Warcraft guys, where they had no idea what was going on but entertained themselves. It might be a way to find the show later on, if you can’t watch it live.

I’ve written a typically too long preview over at Voices of Wrestling. Some additional quick thoughts

  • Most everyone on in the english speaking wrestling sphere thinks the cruiserweight match is a 10 way and it’s pretty much my fault.
  • the opening matches remain unannounced. It appears to be a feature, not a bug, opting to reward people who tune in early rather than attract people by actually revealing their match. I think this is dumb but it’s not my money.
  • Three title changes seem likely, but none are locks. The cruiserweight champion will be whichever guy is more willing to work AAA dates, and it’s saying something about where AAA is in the global picture that no one’s going crazy for that chance. The mixed titles mean nothing in the overall picture so they can do whatever, but Vikingo & Vanilla are obvious favorites. Fenix as mega champion was definitely the plan, but you can never rule out Jeff Jarrett continuing some nonsense.
  • Aerostar & Drago make most sense as #1 tag contenders, but AAA has a history of having people win #1 contender matches and never getting that shot. (I think Fenix is still owed a cruiserweight match.) This undercard seems barely canon as it is, so don’t worry too much about it.
  • I assume Shani’s losing. If Faby loses and doesn’t get her head shaved in the ring, everyone will lose their mind.
  • The crowd reactions to the main event coming down to Psycho Clown & Fantasma will be fascinating. Not that I expect the crowd to get behind Fantasma strong, but the most likely outcome is also the least exciting one. Fans show “know” it’s coming down to those two just like they know Rush/Park was never officially on, but we’ve seen they can still be plenty unhappy about it.

Lucha Central also has a preview of the show. They’ll be a great place to check for live results since I won’t be doing it here. (It never works out well for this site. Someday, I’m going to pay for decent hosting.) My coverage plans are to post a recap early Sunday morning, and then delete the Twitter app off my phone and take a day off. Do not count on a news update Sunday night.

If you’re only watching AAA on YouTube, it doesn’t appear there will be a new episode this week (unless they just put this up in full.) The Televisa show will air matches from last year’s TripleMania instead of anything new.

CMLL (FRI) 08/24/2018 Arena México [CMLL, ESTOEstrellas del RingLucha CentralMarcaOvacionesSuperLuchasThe Gladiatoresthecubsfan]
1) Angelito & Último Dragóncito b Mercurio & Pequeño Nitro LUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 24 DE AGOSTO  DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
13:18. Tecnicos took 2/3.
2) El Audaz, Esfinge, Tritón b Kawato San, Templario, Virus LUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 24 DE AGOSTO  DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
15:24. Tecnicos took 2/3.
3) Ángel de Oro b Titán [lightningLUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 24 DE AGOSTO  DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
9:17. Mecedora
4) Hechicero, Mephisto, Negro Casas b El Hijo de L.A. Park, Flyer, Soberano Jr. LUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 24 DE AGOSTO  DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
20:17. Rudos took 2/3.
5) Ciber the Main Man, Scharly Rock Star, The Chris b Gran Guerrero, L.A. Park, Último Guerrero LUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 24 DE AGOSTO  DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
14:41. Klan Kaoz took 1/3, Ciber getting away with a foul on Ultimo Guerrero
6) Cavernario, La Bestia Del Ring, Rush b Carístico, Matt Taven, Volador Jr. LUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 24 DE AGOSTO  DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
8:06. Straight falls. Cavernario used the ropes to beat Taven after earlier doing a splash to the floor on him.

CMLL promos: Rush & Cavernario, Volador & Matt Taven, Klan Kaoz, Hechicero, Negro Casas & Mephisto, and Angel de Oro (who hurt his knee in the match).

They also put up the tribute to Villano III and some words from them. I hope Villano III Jr. wrestles today if he wants to and has a killer match.

Media room promos: Mephisto & Hechicero (Estrellas del Ring, +Lucha), Rush (Estrellas del Ring, +LuchaTV, ), the Villano Family (Estrellas del Ring, +Lucha), LA Park (+Lucha, ), Angel de Oro (+Lucha), Ultimo Dragoncito & Angelito (+Lucha),

This show wasn’t great. The last weeks before the Anniversario show usually seem to have crowds excited and anticipating the upcoming apuesta match. This week’s show felt like it had a gray crowd over, with the audience being muted compared to recent weeks. The 2v2 hair match is a mistake, but the Klan Kaoz/Guerreros title match is not that far behind. There really needed to be one important and exciting match on this show, and a strong secondary match would’ve really helped out the tough sell of a main event. CMLL is running two matches which their fans don’t seem to care about instead. The next few weeks may be a drag, and there’s nothing on this show I’m going to remember beyond the Villano III tribute.

The big topic coming out of the interviews is LA Park explaining his side of the Anniversario situation while trying to make both CMLL & Park out to be good guys done wrong in all of this. Alfredo has a better translation than I can do in this Twitter thread. The big picture story is Park says AAA threated CMLL’s TV partners when they brought in Fenix (perhaps explaining why he quickly became King Phoenix) and CMLL was scared AAA would do it again if they put Park in an apuesta match. Park said CMLL tried to call him to find out if it was ok to put him in a match, but he gets bad cell phone service out at the ranch and they couldn’t reach him. Park says Dorian promised not to sue him for anything, though he may with others, and CMLL reviewed his papers and said Park is totally legal to use.

It is too bad CMLL staff doesn’t have access to social media, since LA Park is seemingly always on Twitter despite his poor cell phone service at the ranch. Also, it’s Mexico, LA Park has Whatsapp, every luchador in Mexico is on Whatsapp and you don’t need cell phone service for that. There’s also the slight issue of “LA Park has worked for CMLL many times since King Phoenix started working there, so couldn’t they have asked him about his legal status one of those times?”, but whatever. I’m spending too much time dissecting badly thought out stories. The match isn’t happening at 09/14 no matter.

LA Park – and Rush & CMLL via JCR – are very clear on a few things. They feel they know exactly where the line is between “teasing a match” and “actually promising to do a match”, feel they never crossed that line, and feel like they should be given some sort of award for doing so. (This is another long splitting hairs debate.) The other thing they’re very clear on is this match doesn’t have to be an Anniversario match. In that interview, LA Park goes as far as saying he doesn’t want to wait until next September and will not wait that long for it. JCR pushed that LA Park could work many dates for CMLL and it’s possible the match might happen on another date. My podcast partner RobViper has a theory that CMLL simply did not want an outsider like LA Park to forever be part of the montage of Anniversario main events, that CMLL wants that to be a CMLL guy, and that is less of a deal if LA Park loses his mask at some other point. It requires believing CMLL seeing Matt Taven as a CMLL guy, but that doesn’t seem like a huge stretch at this point. Do not buy any plane ticket, do not get your hopes up, but it seems like a reasonable theory.

Of course, saying “maybe Rush/LA Park will still happen later this year” sure seems to kill the suspense of the Rush hair match he’s got coming up in three weeks. I’m not sure if it can be helped.

The Lucha Libre Expo announced they’ll be streaming their shows live for free on 08/31 and 09/01. No platform has been announced, but you’ll be able to see it thru LuchaCentral next weekend.

LuchaWorld has a great obit for Villano III.

The Winter Palace returns with RobViper talking about recent happenings in lucha libre.

Lineups

CMLL (TUE) 08/28/2018 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) El Alteño, Rielero, Vaquero Jr. vs Carlo Roggi, El Chakal, Mr. Apolo
2) Magnus, Oro Jr., Star Black vs Espanto Jr., Espíritu Negro, Guerrero de la Muerte
3) Drone, Fuego, Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Disturbio, Misterioso Jr., Sagrado
4) Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Tritón vs Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
5) Carístico, Diamante Azul, Matt Taven vs Cavernario, La Bestia Del Ring, Rush

Caristico returns to the scene of last week’s title win.

CMLL (FRI) 08/31/2018 Arena México
1) Arkalis & Robin vs Akuma & El Coyote
2) La Jarochita, Lluvia, Marcela vs Amapola, Dalys, Reyna Isis
3) Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón vs Felino, Negro Casas, Tiger
4) Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero vs Ciber the Main Man, Scharly Rock Star, The Chris
5) Matt Taven vs Cavernario
6) Bushi, Naito, Rush vs Diamante Azul, LA Park, Volador Jr.

EVIL will be seconding (or valeting?) the Ingobernables trio but not wrestling. The story appears to be that he was hurt in the G1 and so is taking this one off. BUSHI was in as Bushiroad last time because Bushi lost his mask in IWRG nine years ago. Recent memories include the ringside commissioner protesting when Blue Panther & Felino were going to wrestle a match masked, so hopefully, someone’s figured out a way to make this one go smoother – maybe a name change is coming mid-week.

Taven/Cavernario should be good. It’s very notable that Cavernario & Rush are getting the wins so far, since that usually the role of the person or team who’s leaving. It’s far enough away that it means nothing yet, but it will if Cavernario gets the win again here. It would make no sense for Rush to lose his hair in a match like this but you can’t count CMLL out on nonsense.

So should the third. Puebla’s Arkalis makes his Friday night debut, and his first streaming appearance since starting in Mexico City. Openers are not a great places to show off but he’s a positive addition.

CMLL on ClaroSports.com: 2018-08-24 

HdPark trying to end Hechicero

Recapped: 08/24/2018

Matches:

Angelito & Último Dragóncito beat Mercurio & Pequeño Nitro
(13:18 [5:35, 2:50, 4:53], 2/3, ok, VideosOficialesCMLL)

El Audaz, Esfinge, Tritón beat Kawato San, Templario, Virus
(15:24 [5:41, 2:34, 7:09], 2/3, ok, VideosOficialesCMLL)

Ángel de Oro beat  Titán in a lightning match
(9:17, mecedora, good, VideosOficialesCMLL)

Hechicero, Mephisto, Negro Casas beat  El Hijo de L.A. Park, Flyer, Soberano Jr.
(20:17 [6:40, 5:35, 8:02], 2/3, ok, VideosOficialesCMLL)

Ciber the Main Man, Scharly Rock Star, The Chris beat Gran Guerrero, L.A. Park, Último Guerrero
(14:41 [5:07, 4:05, 5:29], 1/3, ok, VideosOficialesCMLL)

Cavernario, La Bestia Del Ring, Rush beat Carístico, Matt Taven, Volador Jr.
(8:06 [1:10, 6:56], 1 DQ/2, ok, VideosOficialesCMLL)

What happened:

away we go

Volador blatantly fouled Rush in the first fall of the main event. Cavernario used the ropes to beat Taven in the second fall, which set up a singles match next week.

Ciber beat Último Guerrero with a foul. Either Rockstar or The Chris was hurt on the outside after the match, which would be the second straight match of that.

Villano III was honored after the third match, with members of his family (including his wife and sons) there. Mephisto and LA Park wore Villano tribute outfits.

Thoughts:

please don’t kill Negro Casas

All those people Rush heard last week who was more excited to see him face Volador than Park sure didn’t seem to show up this week. The crowd was not dead, but it was also nothing special, and nothing feels like an Anniversario three weeks away. CMLL building up a match they could not deliver, then substituting a lesser match seemed to kill the enthusiasm for this match and this whole show. These guys were still working hard, but it felt desperate. Cavernario doing the splash to the floor on Taven for no reason – it wasn’t played up as a big spot and they were both back up to do a finish with a cradle a moment later – felt like a super desperate attempt to create a moment. Carístico was a non-factor and Bestia was his usual determent. The time and hurried feeling of the match didn’t allow the other guys to show their best, and nothing they did felt like it was more than a regular feud on a Tuesday. It’s not the fault of the people in the match, but you’d have to be pretty delusional to watch many of the Friday night shows and not realize something’s gone wrong here. Luckily for CMLL, they appear to be mostly delusional.

Different day, same song. Klan Kaoz is honestly trying to have good matches good matches, it’s not happening, and it’s painful how little the crowd cares when they’re in control of matches. CMLL diehard fans love of the Guerreross is the only thing keeping any heat in this match, but they could get the same reaction with any other trio. This was the least LA Park has been over since being back. It’s not clear if it’s this matchup that hurt him or not having the other one. The third fall was best of anything, but it was not something you need to watch.

Audaz and Templario

The fourth match was a classic CMLL match that would look great cut down into a highlight reel and felt bloated in real time. There was just too much for the sake of having a lot. The flow was not existent times because they were just going for moves. Flyer had an off night and didn’t mesh with Negro Casas at all. Hechicero & Soberano were good together, but Soberano is another guy who has a need to do all of this spots and take all of his bumps, even if it doesn’t really fit. This was the most indie Hijo de LA Park we’ve seen yet, for good and bad.

Angel de Oro & Titan came up with some different ideas to work in the usual offense, and it made the match fun. The strike exchange early on was really strange for a CMLL match, but Titan using a bunch of closed fists got the crowd to turn against him and gave the match clear sides. I’m not sure if that was even the idea when they did it, but it worked. That they got to do dives obviously helped, but there was more effort than usual for a lightning match, all the way thru the finish. Not must see but easily the first really worthwhile match.

Soberano caught

The second match didn’t come together; The limitations of being that early in the card definitely limited the match. It’s still had plenty to watch with Audaz involved. He looked spectacular. CMLL is cruel for not doing the Templario match yet because those two are awesome together whenever they’re together. Kawato and Audaz even did a well together. Most everyone else was doing their B-match, and I’m afraid to know what Audaz’s A-match is if he was taking it easy here.

The opener was a boring match most of the way that turned out to be a little better late. Most people had turned out by the time Angelico had decided to do tricky moves, somehow starting with the most tricky and moving down from there. This wasn’t a match where anyone in looked all that interested in being there and they communicated that feeling well.

Anniversario preview tonight, perhaps no EVIL in CMLL, AAA HOF inductees

LA Park still booked

CMLL announcing the Anniversario for weeks from now leaves this interim as not exactly interesting. Everyone knows the big matches, and there’s not a lot that can change with them in between now and the Anniversario (unless you’re a true believer that the match is going to be changed after TripleMania.) CMLL’s handled this period of time by running the Universal tournament but isn’t doing that this week. Naito & BUSHI (and maybe just those two) will make it interesting next week, but there’s still a couple of other Friday nights to get thru.

Tonight’s main event will be a build-up match for the double hair match, a rematch of Rush, La Bestia del Ring, and Cavernario taking on Volador, Matt Taven, and Caristico. They’re going to be challenged to sell their apuesta match to a crowd that may have already made up their mind about it. It’s going to be tougher with LA Park in the building. There was reasonable belief Park would get pulled from this show by saying CMLL was lying about why the Rush/Park match was happening. I think he probably shouldn’t have been booked in the first place. Park being in CMLL alone is enough to get people upset about Park and Rush not fighting. I like seeing Park and I do not want him to disappear, but CMLL probably should’ve made him disappear while they’re pushing another match.

Anyway. With Volador scheduled to face LIJ next week, I suspect Matt Taven is going to face either Rush & Cavernario in a singles match to give him something to do and to give the card something different. Maybe they’ll set it up here.

The Guerreros and LA Park face Klan Kaoz in a match that’ll definitely exist. Hijo de LA Park’s mandatory appearance teams him with cousin Flyer & Soberano against Hechicero, Mephisto, and Negro Casas in a more promising match. Angel de Oro and Titan meet in a singles match for the first in seven years, back when Titan was still Palacio Negro. Both can fall back into a formula match, and it’ll be interesting to see if having a tecnico/tecnico match brings anything different out of them.

The second match is worthwhile to see if Audaz, Triton, Templario, and Virus can have a good segunda despite having Esfinge & Kawato involved. Angelito makes a rare Friday night appearance, teaming with Ultimo Dragonicto against Mercurio & Pequeno Nitro.

Lucha Central has a preview. The show starts at 8:30pm on Marca and Facebook, though there’s no link to the later.  I think I’m streaming.

NJPW’s press release on Los Ingobernables de Japon coming to CMLL next week only mentions Naito & BUSHI. CMLL had said EVIL was coming as well. I guess we’ll find out in that lineup.

Mistique & La Maligna will wrestle on a 10/02 REINA show and another show on 10/26. These luchadora tours of Japan seem to involve once about every three weeks, less than in Mexico. It doesn’t make sense to me how that can work from a money standpoint but it’s not my money and I’m not sure I want to know.

Arturo Rivera says El Apache and Dr. Alfonso Morales will be added to AAA Hall of Fame at TripleMania. They’re both deserving inductions. The Hall of Fame presentation is scheduled to take place during the pre-show.

Bandido will face El Phantasmo in Revolution Pro’s British J Cup on 09/08. Flamita’s match is still to be announced.

El Hijo del Santo writes about Villano III.

LuchaWorld has the latest Lucha Report.

Lucha Talk has a new episode up.

Puma King & Barby’s video was imitating photos from Tumblr.

lucha TV preview for weekend of August 24th, 2018

full size

One of the most interesting meta questions about this year’s Lucha Underground: will the typical ratings bounce for a wedding episode apply even to this show? We find out next week. “Til Death Due Us Part” doesn’t seem like a great sign for how this one’s going to go. It’s an LU wedding so the chances of it going off without a table spot are low anyway,

I’m not sure if AAA on Space will have a new episode this week, or what that’ll due to the YouTube schedule as a result. Their schedule weird lists no AAA at all; perhaps only Mexico is getting TripleMania live. Space will air the documentary on TripleMania that’s been posted on YouTube at 7 before leading to the broadcast. I’m pretty sure airing a Poder del Norte squash on AAA on Gala isn’t a great way to hype TripleMania but they don’t pay me to make those decisions. They probably shouldn’t pay me either.

Mephisto/Titan should be good, again on Tuesday. I don’t have great hopes for Joker/Shockercito in Puebla.

CMLL Gran Prix, Park/Rush, AAA secret cruiserweight title match

exciting legal documents

CMLL announced the full International Team for the 10/05 Gran Prix.

  1. David Finlay (NJPW)
  2. Mark Briscoe (NJPW)
  3. Jay Briscoe (NJPW)
  4. Dark Magic
  5. Flip Gordon (ROH)
  6. Michael Elgin (NJPW)
  7. Okumura
  8. Gilbert el Boricua (El Mesias/Ricky Banderas)

The CMLL team will be announced a later time.

Gilbert got a long vignette talking about this being his return to CMLL after many years and choosing this name because AAA wasn’t letting him use Ricky Banderas or El Mesias. CMLL was bringing in Puerto Rican wrestlers often in the late 90s, so Gilbert probably worked then, we’re just missing the record of it.

Michael Elgin is a thorny mess. Elgin was accused last year of covering up a sexual assault and has countersued the accuser. Elgin and the accuser were also in a relationship, though there’s disagreement about the nature of the relationship. It is ugly, public, and continues to be unresolved. Elgin has wrestled in the US sparingly since, with promoters being afraid to use him after attempts to “bring him back in the fold” after a few months away were met with strong negative reactions. Elgin continues to wrestle in Japan, but NJPW hasn’t used him in the US. Their bet seems to be US fans will reactive negative but the Japanese fans don’t know anything about it and wouldn’t care. Mexican fans are even less likely to know this story and tend to heavily separate the work of the wrestler with what that person did. (It’s been jarring but not unexpected this week to read Mexican sources praise Chris Benoit in his feud with Villano III without mentioning anything else about Benoit.) Mexican promoters are likely to care even less. Elgin seemed beloved by CMLL in his previous trips and it’s not a big surprise he’s been asked back. I’m not sure he’d be coming back to Mexico if he could find more work in the US.

There had been strong rumors for months that the Zack Sabre Jr. anti-Mexico comments from earlier this year was going to lead to him coming to CMLL as part of the Gran Prix card. I assumed that’s why CMLL had Hechicero on Informa yesterday, since that’s the teased match people want to see. Instead, CMLL really just had Hechicero on for no real reason except to vaguely suggest title matches.

I typed Kawato in that list in a Twitter post, corrected it, and then everyone kept RT-ing the original one. I think I was not good at Twitter yesterday. Kawato is having a no good time in CMLL, since CMLL picked a guy who has yet to have a match in the promotion for this match over him.

The CMLL heavyweight championship is now vacant. Marco Corleone’s last match in CMLL was March 23rd, and he was written out with a shoulder injury. Marco has since indicated on social media that he’s moved back to the US. CMLL said they weren’t sure if Marco was going to the return. My impression is he’s not planning to come back to wrestling, but he’s a wrestler so he always may change his mind, and he left on good terms with CMLL so the door remains open.

There were no immediate plans to fill the heavyweight championship, and this seemed more to get people to stop asking questions about it. The CMLL heavyweight title has not gone well lately: Marco’s retired, Maximo’s been fired, Hector Garza gave the title back when he quit the title. Terrible is the only recent champion to lose the belt in the ring. I’m not sure CMLL cares, because they could’ve had Marco (or Hector) drop the title in the ring if that was important to them. Ultimo Guerrero losing one singles title means he’s the most likely guy to win this one.

CMLL also gave an explanation for why Rush versus LA Park isn’t happening. And then gave another one. And then gave another one. The ones I’ve picked up so far

This is a lot like yesterday’s Alberto/Dorian Roldan story, where there’s probably a bit of truth in each side of the story and also more lies, and I’m not if it’s really worth going a deep thru it to figure it out. Rush/LA Park is still not happening on 09/14 and all we’ve learned is no one should buy tickets to see that match in the future unless it’s specifically announced.

It is Thursday, there’s not a lot of news, so I guess I can go on a little bit. Here’s what I believe

  • LA Park versus Rush would be happening in CMLL this year if CMLL wanted it to happen. CMLL did not want it to happen.
  • CMLL was delusional enough to believe they could roll out Taven/Volador vs Rush/Terrible (and later Cavernario) without any significant pushback. I think they were surprised and completely unprepared for people questioning LA Park/Rush not happening. They’ve given multiple and contradictory answers is because there was no discussion about what they were going to say, simply believing they wouldn’t have to say anything. I also believe CMLL now had zero plans to do LA Park versus Rush this year.
  • CMLL could’ve put tickets on sale and announced main event whenever they wanted. The “we couldn’t be sure LA Park is losing at TripleMania” line doesn’t fly. They could’ve waited until next week to put tickets on sale if that was the real issue and those tickets still would’ve gone fast. CMLL also could’ve dropped this feud back as soon as LA Park on TripleMania was announced on 06/05, or they could’ve immediately made it clear the match wouldn’t be happening because of TripleMania. Instead, they continued to tease the match as late as the night before the Anniversario tickets were on sale.
  • The same is true about the legal issues. My hunch is that what Julio Cesar Rivera said was a true story, but it was a true story about Alebrije/Kraneo, Psicosis/Ripper, and Histeria/Morphosis years ago, used to cover up another situation. The idea that CMLL can’t run apuesta matches with AAA owned names did not stop CMLL from running hair matches with both Tiffany and Estrellita. Perhaps mask matches are somehow different, but this is flimsy is best.
  • The “our television providers are getting legal notices!” also seems like something held over from 2010, when CMLL had big TV and AAA could go to a Televisa or a Cadena3. CMLL is now on low watched television stations that mostly deal with rerun programming and pay CMLL a very small amount. If those stations got legal letters about CMLL, they’d probably already have dropped them because CMLL isn’t worth the trouble.

I also believe CMLL does have a legitimate concern about putting more AAA names on-screen, just based on “The Chris” and “Ciber the Main Man.” CMLL has also, at the start of this month, filed for new trademarks on “Chris Oro” (new name for The Chris?), “Charly Manson”, “Estrellita”, “Tiffany” and “Juan Sin Miedo”. Perhaps Penta 0M is too close for CMLL’s taste? AAA already holds trademarks on Manson, Estrellita, and Tiffany.  None of the current Klan Kaoz names have been trademarked.

CMLL’s over position here is AAA is an evil company for holding people hostage by trademarking their name. Maybe they are! Maybe CMLL is as well: in June, CMLL trademarked “Hijo de LA Park” among others. That’s not a name they came up with, and not a name they reasonable should claim to own. They’re going to do the same thing when they can.

Everything Else

I know I wrote in the lineup that TripleMania lineup that Australian Suicide was defending his title in a 10 way. That was a blind guess and a limitation of the way I run my database. (It’s quicker to delete people than add them later on.)  The WON reports Shane Strickland, ACH and Sammy Guevera are on TripleMania, and I’ve been told they’ll all face Suicide in a four-way in a pre-show match. That entire concept is crazy: it’ll be a great match that no one knows it is happening and only the most hardcore will care. I’d guess Suicide is losing the title, as he’s made a point on social media of saying how unhappy he is in AAA, but I can’t imagine Guevera, ACH or Strickland being around much to defend it.

Impact’s tapings will have room for about 2,000 people, according to the WON. Impact are currently expecting to use Fenix and Pentagon on 09/14, which would mean them working both for Impact and CMLL on the same night. Meltzer thinks Impact did not know CMLL was running the Anniversario show on 09/14 when they made the date. CMLL had announced 09/14 as their Anniversario months ago.

The Penta/Fenix story to WWE has gone from Lucha Underground not being mentioned at all to “they can’t go anywhere until six months after their last episode.” Six months would mean Penta & Fenix could not sign until May 7, 2019. It was three months for Ricochet, which would mean February 7, 2019. Meltzer is convinced something is up becuase Penta & Fenix are not taking bookings for next year, but it seems like they’d have to take bookings into 2019 unless they want to sit at home for a long time.

Sanely said she wants to defeat Dalys and Metalica. She blames Metalica for her knee injury.

Euronews (and a lot of other sides) has a video of the AAA pilgrimage.

Critero Hidalgo writes about the friendship between Penta and a Hidalgo Tuzos soccer player Jorge Hernandez. Penta wants Psycho’s mask.

Danny DeManto will be on the September DTU tour.

Bleeding Cool has a preview of the Lucha Brothers comic.

Lineup

CMLL (TUE) 08/28/2018 Arena México
1) Bengala & Sonic vs Inquisidor & Yago
2) La Maligna, Mystique, Sanely vs Amapola, Metálica, Tiffany
3) Black Panther, Blue Panther Jr., El Audaz vs Kawato, Okumura, Virus
4) Soberano Jr., Stuka Jr., Valiente vs Ephesto, Hechicero, Shocker
5) Mephisto © vs Titán [CMLL WELTER]
13th defense. Titan’s fourth challenge in this reign.
6) Atlantis, Mistico, Volador Jr. vs Mr. Niebla, Negro Casas, Rey Bucanero

Titan/Mephisto has been good. They’re over due for a title change, but three straight Tuesdays of them would be weird.

Lucha Underground 4×11: Last Man Or Machine Standing

bad times for Penta

Matches

Mil Muertes beat The Mack in a haunted house match
(9:33, super flatliner, good)

Jake Strong beat Aerostar
(2:12, ankle lock submission, ok)

Pentagon Dark beat Cage in a last man standing to keep the Lucha Underground Championship
(14:20, 10 count following curb stomp thru concrete/block match, great)

Status Check

Champion: Pentagon Dark (4 defenses)
Gift of the Gods: Dragon Azteca (2 defenses)
Trios Champions: Reptile Tribe (Kobra Moon, Daga, Jeremiah Snake) (0 defenses)
Died This Season (12): Jeremiah Crane (casket)*, Fenix (casket/lifeforce absorbed), Mr. Pec-tacular (sacrificed), Cortez Castro (sacrificed), Máscarita Sagrada (murdered by Rabbits), Vinnie Massaro (sacrificed), Pizza Guy (sacrificed), Vibora (beheaded), Mala Suerte (sacrificed) , Saltador (sacrificed), Benji the Agent (murdered by Ricky), Angelico (implied to have been murdered by Ricky)
Resurrected (1): Jeremiah Crane/Snake

Developments

seconds into the match, it was clear the Mack was in deep trouble

This was a strong episode of Lucha Underground. In that, some people won very strong, and also there was a Jake Strong.

Pentagon Dark got a definitive win over Cage in the main event. Cage was slicing Penta with a beer bottle in the opening moments, and then weapon usage only continued thru them. Many tables paid the price to decide a champion. Unlike most last man standing matches, the action never seemed to slow for a count. If the other luchador could move, they were prepping for their next move should their opponent get up before 10. The ten counts seemed reasonable fast until the final one. Penta survived a Drill Claw, Cage survived a destroyer thru a table. Cage was not easy to finish: Penta had to snap to both arms, and then still curb stomped a concrete block on Cage’s head to keep him down for the count.

There won’t be much time to relax for the champ. Taya revealed to Johnny Mundo that she talked Dario Cueto into giving him a shot at the title. Taya & Johnny will get married next week, and Johnny will get his title shot the week after.

not the finish

The other big winner on the show went to Mil Muertes, who won the first ever Haunted House match handily. He utterly trashed the Mack. It might not have been a total squash but it felt like Mack got his offense only long enough to get in position for another Muertes death spot.

Mil wasn’t the only member of the team getting a W this week. Catrina, angry Melissa had failed to announcer her name during their entrance. Melissa decided to get physical. This went very poorly for Melissa, eventually knocked out by a flower vase to the back of the head. Catrina still refused to do the post-match lick of death though, as she’s refused since regaining her life.

flying death

Famous B, back in a wheelchair, took over announcing for the rest of the show. Which meant he had the distinct displeasure of introducing the man who crippled him, Jake Strong. Strong got about nothing in against Aerostar for about two minutes. He then got the anklelock, and that was all that mattered. Drago, making his dramatic return after less than one episode of being gone, stopped Strong from breaking his friend’s ankle.

There was a lot going on this episode, which means I’m just getting around to the weekly murder. Taya revealed Mundo’s title shot at their wedding shower. Ricky Mundo appeared not to be invited to the shower. Benji, the Worldwide Underground agent who hasn’t been seen since late season 3 (and didn’t seem to get the usual “previously” reintroduction), was invited but arrived late and was stopped outside. Benji taunted Ricky about everything. That was not a good idea. Only Ricky seemed to hear Rosa’s command to murder Benji, but Ricky definitely heard it, and murdered Benji with a pen. Benji seemed to have some vague narrative purpose about splitting up the Worldwide Underground that went nowhere, and now we’ll never know why he existed at all.

The episode did give us one explanation for something that had not made any sense. A conversation between Dragon Azteca Jr & Melissa Santos revealed Melissa was really broken up by Fenix’s death but had been purposefully hiding it when she’s in front of the crowd. That segment did nothing more than mention that fact, remind us that Melissa had (and was wearing) the half of the amulet given to her by Catrina, and maybe hint at a Dragon Azteca/Melissa relationship.

Thoughts

sure why not

I genuinely liked this episode of Lucha Underground. It was very Lucha Underground, and it also had some great wrestling. It was so over the top that it became more hilarious than serious, but at least it got a positive emotion out of me. It’s not a particularly positive sign that Lucha Underground has to lean so heavily into extreme and deathmatch tropes to have big matches, but that’s not something new.

Feuds ending was definite winners and losers helps a lot, in a wider wrestling world where that’s uncommon. Cage looked really good, pushed Penta far enough where this win felt like it definitely meant something (much more than the previous title match), but Penta was definitely the better man. The Mack was absolutely right to be scared of Mil Muertes, because Mil Muertes came off as a scary and dangerous guy in dominating him. Both guys come off as bigger deals going into the next one. Mil’s destruction (and some of the bumps Mack ended up taking) was impressive. The main event falls count anywhere match was as over the top as Benji’s murder, but it felt like something fully committed to and that would only happen on this show. I’d easily recommend it.

The Jake Strong/Aerostar match didn’t amount to much, but it was entertaining on a meta level. They were so aware of how it’d look on Lucha Underground to have the luchador be used as enhancement talent to the white ex-WWE that they gave Aerostar pretty much the entire match before the finish. It still didn’t work, Strong and Aerostar did not bring out the best in each other. I have no interest in seeing Strong/Drago either. Strong should be in competitive matches by now, and Aerostar and Drago shouldn’t be used easy stepping stones – but most the quick guys to beat have been eliminated now by their own making. Striker did hammer home that Strong is a supposed to be a rudo now, which hasn’t been clear before. Strong still doesn’t feel like he belongs on this show at all.

Alberto/AAA, Caristico champion, Titan/Mephisto (again!)

New/old champ

DTU (SUN) 08/19/2018 Arena Xalapa, Xalapa, Veracruz [DTU]
1) Kaleth & Tiburón b Hector Perfecto & Little RickyFlyer Boy & Magnum
winner gets a tag title shot
2) Totem I & Totem II b Camuflaje & Paranoiko
3) Poseidón, Poseidón Jr., Sayfer b Emperador, Laser Boy, Tigre Cósmico
4) Mini Flash b Ángel NegroHermesLuiguiHard Boy
5) Aj Gray b JitsuPesadillaMoria
6) Kaleth & Tiburón © b Jimmy & Príncipe Cometa [DTU NEXO]
winners of opener
7) Ace Austin © Lokillo [DTU AI]
Jimmy made the challenge for the next title shot, and they teased it happening in the US.
8) Crazy King © b Último GladiadorCrazy Boy [DTU]
Crazy Boy was added to the match to make it a three-way. King retained, but Crazy Boy challenged him to a singles match.

Jimmy making it to the US would be cool. The Tiburon winning the title here is not the son of Atlantis. He’s a Veracruz luchador who’s been a regular with DTU of late.

CMLL (TUE) 08/21/2018 Arena México [CMLL, Lucha CentralThe Gladiatores]
1) Bengala & Leono b Apocalipsis & Príncipe Odín Jr. LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES DE ARENA MEXICO 21 DE AGOSTO  DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Tecnicos took 2/3.
2) Espanto Jr., Hijo del Signo, Metálico b Astral, Eléctrico, Star Jr. LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES DE ARENA MEXICO 21 DE AGOSTO  DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rudos took 2/3
3) Amapola b La Jarochita [lightningLUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES DE ARENA MEXICO 21 DE AGOSTO  DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Amapola won with the Devil’s Wings.
4) Dragón Rojo Jr., Okumura, Pólvora b Blue Panther, Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa
Villano III was honored before the match. Blue Panther replaced Stuka. Rudos took 2/3.
5) Stuka Jr., Titán, Valiente b Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES DE ARENA MEXICO 21 DE AGOSTO  DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Stuka replaced Blue Panther. Tecnicos took 2/3, setting up a Titan/Mephisto title match.
6) Atlantis, Mistico, Soberano Jr. b Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES DE ARENA MEXICO 21 DE AGOSTO  DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
tecnicos took 2/3.

CMLL promos: Amapola talking about her win, Atlantis and Blue Panther giving condolences to the Villano family, and Titan & Mephisto talking about their title match. The Gladaitores also put up a video of Atlantis talking about facing and teaming Villano III. Sounded like the latter matches were watchable.

CMLL (TUE) 08/21/2018 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [CMLL]
1) Neutrón, Star Black, Vaquero Jr. b Carlo Roggi, Gran Kenut, Ráfaga
tecnicos took 2/3
2) Dalys, Reyna Isis, Tiffany b Lluvia, Mistique, Princesa Sugehit
rudas took 2/3
3) Ángel de Oro, Diamante Azul, Niebla Roja b Felino, Mr. Niebla, Shocker
tecnicos too 2/3. Niebla Roja accidentally bled during the match. Villano III was honored after the match.
4) Cavernario, La Bestia Del Ring, Rush b Flyer, Matt Taven, Volador Jr.
Rudos took 1/3.
5) Carístico b Último Guerrero © [NWA MIDDLE]
Title switch. Caristico is the 8th (or 92nd) champion, winning this belt for the 1st (or 3rd) time. Ultimo Guerrero falls on his 15th defense, after 1086 days as champion. UG remains CMLL trios champion.

Caristico versus Ultimo Guerrero will air on YouTube on Saturday assuming the stream says up. It’s Caristico’s first big singles title win since returning to CMLL. It’s seemed last night as much about getting the right numbers and participants in the Universal tournament as anything, but that can’t be happening soon. There’s no space before the Anniversary, and there’s none right after unless they’re going to run the final at the same night as the Gran Prix (which seems unnecessary.) If they’re running on Fridays, they won’t be running it until 10/12 at the soonest.

Niebla Roja’s cut looks ugly.

Hechicero is on CMLL Informa today to talk about losing his title last week. I think it’ll end being something else. This paragraph is annoyingly vague because I can’t confirm anything.

The biggest news coming out of the TripleMania press conference was about Alberto el Patron, who will not be wrestling at TripleMania. Alberto was announced for TripleMania in March. Alberto no-showed a Lucha Underground/Impact show on WrestleMania weekend, and Impact fired him. Alberto has rarely been seen since, though he did wrestle just one week ago in San Luis Potosi on a show honoring Mil Mascaras. As the TripleMania press conference was ending, Alberto’s PR team sent out a message putting the blame on Alberto not appearing totally on AAA, for not paying his agreed upon deposit and not agreeing to his terms. A few minutes later, Dorian Roldan claimed AAA had little communication with Alberto after he no-showed the LU/Impact show, and so no longer included him with TripleMania.

That’s where it was left after the press conference. Alberto was told about Dorian Roldan’s comments and went on an angry media tour. He spoke to at least MedioTiempo and World TV Deportes and probably other places. In MT, Alberto says Roldan told him at first that they couldn’t find an opponent for Alberto, that the guys they were looking at were Rey Mysterio Jr. or a “someone who didn’t want to work for AAA”. (Johnny Mundo?) Alberto also mentioned a plan to team him with Rey against two unnamed opponents, saying Roldan mentioned it to him four weeks ago. His point there is Roldan was still talking to him after the Impact situation, so the idea they weren’t talking after the Impact situation was a lie. Alberto says last year, he was left sitting around at a hotel room on Saturday before TripleMania waiting for a deposit that never came. Alberto said Roldan promised him both that deposit and the rights to his El Patron name (which AAA had trademarked.) He tried calling Roldan as late as 4pm that day, Roldan didn’t pick up, and Alberto decided to go home. Alberto is also still upset about AAA pushing some blame his way for not being able to drop the AAA title in the ring (or at least defend it), which had been the plan when he signed with WWE.

We could probably figure out which side is lying, but it’s a long day and “eh, probably both” is both simpler and also likely true. The real truth is AAA should’ve addressed this situation in advance so the focus after their press conference would be on the people actually on the show, not the one who’s not. The problem is Mexican lucha libre promotions will forever just not talk about issues hoping a complicit press will not ask them either. It works enough for them to keep doing it. As far as Alberto & AAA, they’ve broken up and gotten together so many times that it’s impossible to take any of this seriously. They’ll be back working together down the road if it makes sense for them, and they’ll be pretending none of this ever happened.

The Cruiserweight match will be a four-way, according to Tercera y Definitiva. No names have been announced for it or the Llave a la Gloria match. Arkangel Divino & Ultimo Maldito figure to be in one or the other.

Space posted a half hour special on TripleMania XXVI. It’s more a “what is TripleMania” explainer for about half the way, and talk about the big two matches the second half.

Record has an interview with Senora Psycho Clown, Zoraida Casas. She paints his masks.

Villano III’s passing was mentioned on many Mexico media sites, and he’s been recognized as a giant star of lucha libre. Publimetro has a good one. So does Ovaciones. ESPN’s post-TripleMania interviews turned into asking AAA wrestlers about their Villano III thoughts. SuperLuchas brings back a 2012 interview with Villano III, where he talked about his life and has photos from the funeral service.

Lucha Underground hits the midway point of the season (!) with the 11th episode of this season, “Last Man or Machine Standing”. Matches on the show:

  • Pentagon Dark (c) vs Cage in a last man standing match for the Lucha Underground Championship
  • The Mack vs Mil Muertes in a Haunted House match

A Haunted House match is a cage match with Halloween decreations. August feels way too early for a Halloween match. On the other hand, I was just at the grocery store yesterday and Halloween candy and pumpkin spice items were out, so maybe I’m the wrong one. There’s also a Taya bridal shower. The wedding is coming.

In an interview with the Alvarados, Maximo revealed he wanted to be a dentist.

Segunda Caida writes about Villano III vs Atlantis.

LuchaWorld has the Lucha Report.

Lineups

CMLL (MON) 08/27/2018 Arena Puebla
1) Centella Roja & Meyer vs Ares & Fuerza Chicana
2) La Jarochita & Marcela vs Dalys & La Comandante
3) Shockercito © vs Joker [CMLL MINI]
4th defense
4) Esfinge, Titán, Tritón vs Dragón Rojo Jr., Olímpico, Pólvora
5) Ángel de Oro, Matt Taven, Niebla Roja vs Mr. Niebla, Negro Casas, Templario
6) Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero vs Cavernario, La Bestia Del Ring, Rush

Joker/Shockercito lightning match didn’t convince me on a title match but it’s worth a try anyway. Main event is setting up either a trios title match or Rush/UG.

Rush & Cavernario vs Volador & Matt Taven will headline CMLL’s 85 Anniversario (09/14). Gran Prix.

CMLL completed a press conference announcing the full lineup up for it’s annual biggest show of the year. Outside of the main event, it doesn’t feel like one.

CMLL (FRI) 09/14/2018 Arena México
1) La Jarochita, Marcela, Princesa Sugehit vs Dalys, La Maligna, Reyna Isis
2) Ángel de Oro, Audaz, Niebla Roja vs Felino, Mr. Niebla, Negro Casas
3) Atlantis, Mistico, Soberano Jr. vs Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
4) Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero vs Ciber the Main Man, Scharly Rockstar, The Chris [CMLL TRIOS]
first defense
5) Carístico, Hijo de LA Park, LA Park vs Diamante Azul, King Phoenix, Penta El Zero M
6) Matt Taven & Volador Jr. vs Bárbaro Cavernario & Rush [hair]
two hairs on the line

The main event should be good. There was heated back and forth, especially when Taven’s heel promo bits were translated a little harshly into Spanish. They teased fighting in front of the press, and Rush was angry with the idea of even having to sign a contract, feeling his word was good enough.

It’s still not LA Park versus Rush. Like yesterday with AAA & Alberto originally, CMLL just didn’t talk about the problem and hoped no one else would bring it up either. LA Park’s name only came up when JCR quickly ran thru the rest of the card. The main event and the trios title matches were the only ones highlights. LA Park is still on the card, but in a random trios match. (Fenix & Penta are still booked. Dragon Lee is not. I suspect Audaz got on the card due to people being moved around to replace Lee.) The press were not allowed to ask questions about the main event during the portions that were streamed, so we won’t know what excuse CMLL came up until later.

The card is at best alright. Only the main event feels like something special. Give credit to Klan Kaoz for somehow continuing to get booked despite having bad performances in most of their matches. The rest of this card has matches which seem like they could be seen any other day or matches no one is in any hurry to see anyway. It’ll be better the day of the show, but the Casas Anniversario show was better than this, and it’s likely other cards will be as well. I feel sorry for anyone who bought Anniversario tickets already – I think it’ll be good but CMLL was promising better.

It’s a safe assumption that the main event would’ve been Rush & Terrible versus Taven & Volador had Terrible not been injured.

There was oddly no mention of how this show will be aired. They’ve done iPPV in various forms in recent years, so maybe expect that. The only thing CMLL cares about, to the extent they care about anything at all, is tickets so that’s what they pushed. Tickets were moving well when fans thought Park/Rush was happening.

There were plenty of other announcements on the show:

Next Friday, August 31st, Los Ingobernables del Japon will come to Arena Mexico. It was treated as a one night only event. Naito, BUSHI, and EVIL will take on Volador Jr., LA Park, and Diamante Azul. Naito & BUSHI (as Bushiroad!) have appeared in Arena Mexico plenty of times before, and this is EVIL’s debut.

The annual minis anniversary match will be on 09/23, a Sunday. That usually means a cibernetico, sometimes setting up a title match the following week

Mistique & La Malgina will head to Japan on 09/28 and be there until the end of the year. They’re announced as working for REINA (announced it was back from the dead & may not even be a thing still) and J@ST (where Isis & Jarochita actually ended up working last time.)

Kaho Kobayashi will return to CMLL on 10/05 for an indefinite amount of time.

The annual Gran Prix will also take place on 10/05 (a Friday.) Four international names have been announced: David Finlay from NJPW, Jay & Mark Briscoe from ROH, and Dark Magic from – I don’t know where from, though JCR seemed to think he had WWE and ROH experience. Maybe as an extra? You may vaguely remember Dark Magic from seeing him a few times in IWRG in late April. His Facebook mentions he’s getting a work visa and shows him training with Ultimo Guerrero – he’s might be a totally different wrestler, but this seems like a similar situation to Johnny Idol. Expect Magic to turn up as a regular either starting with this match or earlier. Hope he’s good, expecting him to be a work in progress.

The other four spots will be announced on Informa today, though only after a lot of ticket giveways. Okumura and Kawato seem likely. Christopher Daniels teased a return after his appearance. I’m under the impression at least one more NJPW name will be involved, which would make 8. That’s right near the end of a NJPW tour, so it may not be a big name.

full AAA TripleMania XXVI (August 25th) lineup

AAA held a press conference to announce the TripleMania card. I’m still not 100% sure what the lineup is after, because this is AAA. Here’s what I’ve got:

AAA TV (SAT) 08/25/2018 Arena Ciudad de México, Ciudad de México, Distrito Federal
TripleMania XXVI
1) ?, ??, ??? vs ????, ?????, ??????
a Llave a la Gloria match
2) Australian Suicide © vs 2345678910 [AAA CRUISER]
3) Big Mami & Niño Hamburguesa © vs Hijo Del Vikingo & Vanilla and Dinastía & Lady Maravilla and Angelikal & La Hiedra [AAA MIXED TAG]
3rd defense (2nd televised)
4) Aerostar & Drago vs Golden Magic & Laredo Kid and Bandido & Flamita and Andrew Everett & DJZ [Ladder, AAA TAG]
5) Mamba, Máximo, Pimpinela Escarlata vs Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana and Hijo de LA Park, Puma King, Taurus
6) Jack Evans, Juventud Guerrera, Teddy Hart vs Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly [lumberjack]
7) La Máscara, Rey Escorpión, Texano Jr. vs Joe Lider, Murder Clown, Pagano [street]
8) Jeff Jarrett © vs FénixBrian CageRich Swann [AAA HEAVY]
9) Lady Shani vs Faby Apache [mask, hair]
Shani’s mask vs Faby Apache’s hair
10) Psycho Clown vs Hijo del FantasmaLA ParkPentagón Jr. [mask, cage]
Tour way mask match in a cage. Two people will escape, and the last two will have a one fall match.

There may be more details later. The Villano III death started leaking out just as this press conference was wrapping up, so any articles being written about TripleMania can wait.

The big confusion is about the ladder match. It’s on the poster as if it’s the second match on the main card. AAA didn’t mention it or allude to it during their press conference. It’s possible there just wasn’t anyone in the match at the press conference. Most matches only had a few people representing it. The way the matches were introduced, they just went from the mixed tag to the three-way trios match as if there’s nothing in between them. Asking AAA if the match is happening got no response, but everyone may be too swamped to sort it out. AAA has a tendency just to stop mentioning things that are canceled or they don’t want to talk about (keep scrolling for Alberto news.) People at the press conference were under the impression the ladder match is happening.

The cage match part of the main event was not particularly emphasized in the press conference. It’s strange because AAA had Psycho Clown talk about not wanting the match to be a cage, and others agreeing with him. Being able to brawl around the ring has helped a lot with the Psycho Clown/LA Park stuff, Pentagon Jr. can do that too, and one of Hijo del Fantasma’s big spots is a dive. One dive off the top of the cage doesn’t really make up for it, but I suspect the people in the match will just ignore the rules and find a way to brawl outside the cage.

AAA wrestlers questioning a match set-up that was being announced as pretty standard here. Murder Clown did not better understand why he was teaming with Pagano & Joe Lider than the rest of us, saying he didn’t trust them. The OGTs wanted to know why Poder del Norte wasn’t in their match and putting the trios titles on the line. Vamprio came up with an explanation about needing the most experienced and best team to face the Elite team. Poder del Norte is also facing an Elite team. Either Maximo or Mamba seemed to get confused and believe the OGT team was in their match. Dorian explained Swann & Cage being added to the title match as wanting to include reps from Impact & Lucha Underground in their big title match. Fenix works for both of those promotions just as much as those two wrestlers.

There are some matches on this card I think will be good, and the two apuesta matches should have a lot of emotion. I think everyone inside of AAA knows this TripleMania is not a really coherent lineup. It’s instead a compromise to try to get a lot of people on the show, to keep everyone happy. There’s 47 luchadors on the main card, plus who knows how many who might be placed in the pre-show matches or just appear as lumberjacks. This is just going to be how TripleMania is going to be until they change their strategy. It still doesn’t explain why so few of the undercard matches have anything to with what’s gone on TV the last few months: the main event has been built up, but the big angles involving MAD have all lead up to a midcard trios match so far. Maybe there’s some explanation of why AAA had Killer Kross destroying people on TV and then didn’t find a spot for him on TripleMania – for the second year running! – and maybe the TV angle will build to something in October. Or maybe never.

Dave the Clown is not a cruiserweight and not a young guy, so he won’t be on the card. Dave posted a Twitter complaining about a year wasted right after the press conference. People noticed, so Dave deleted the tweet. Even with nearly 50 people booked, there’s still going to be people left unhappy. Spots on TripleMania being treated as a right is why this lineup is what it is.

One person who won’t be on this show is Alberto el Patron. As the AAA press conference was getting close to an end, Alberto’s public relations people issued a statement putting the blame on AAA for Alberto not appearing on TripleMania. Alberto was announced for a match against “one of his favorite opponents” earlier this year. Nothing had been said more about it months, and there were hints for a while that match had been canceled. Alberto’s statement named Dorian Roldan by name and said AAA never made the promised deposit and did not meet his terms for participating on the show. Something similar happened last year, where Alberto teased appearing on TripleMania if AAA paid his fee, AAA never paid his fee, and Alberto never appeared. On an overcrowded card, Alberto versus a Jack Swagger (famous LU superstar Jake Strong!) or something similar probably would just take up time that could be better used, and it seemed unlikely to be worth AAA’s money to include Alberto this year. I’m sure we’ll go thru this all again next year.

The TripleMania schedule looks like this:

7:30-8:30pm CDT: a pre-show, with those first two matches (a Cruiserweight title match + Llave a la Gloria match, no participants mentioned for either), plus a Hall of Fame induction. It’s possible they’ll also honor Villano III during this part.
8:30-11:00pm: matches 3-9 (from the mixed tag to Faby/Shani)
11:00pm-finish: the four-way mask match

That last match is planned to air live on Canal5 (over the air), which means AAA normally has to wrap everything else by then and the women’s apuesta match is most likely to be cut on time. However, Canal5 aired the mask match on a slight delay last year due to other programming going long, so it may not be hard and fast about starting at 11. I’m a little bit surprised the women’s match is going on so late because it’s been pushed as a second/third match in the lead-up. It’s a gigantic opportunity for both women and has a chance of becoming one of the most famous luchadora matches in the history of Mexico.

The entire show will air on SpaceTV in Mexico, using Hugo Savinovich & Jose Manuel Guillen’s broadcast. They’ll also air that version of the show on Twitch as usual. In addition, AAA will be airing the show on it’s English language Twitch feed. Matt Striker and Vampiro return as announcers. Striker & Vampiro gave a thoroughly unprofessional broadcast to TripleMania two years ago, and there’s no reason to expect them to act any differently this time. Like many a small-time indie promotion, AAA’s made a decision to give the announcing job to friends of the owners rather than trying to find someone who might do a good job, and AAA’s going to get exactly the same effort out of it as they’re putting into it. I’d question why they’re even bothering, but the reason they’re bothering is very obviously so Vampiro can get his good friend Striker a payday. It’s a grand friendship move by Vampiro, but I’d like if AAA actually put their money where their mouth is about expanding to the US. They’re not serious about it and this is all the proof you need.

Pentagon Jr. has made two appearances in AAA: the press conference to announce his TripleMania participation and the taping in Aguascalientes. He did not appear here. It was kind of glaring neither he nor LA Park was there for this conference. I’m sure Penta will be a TripleMania but I wonder how much he’ll be participating past that, or if they just needed a fourth person for this day. There are people who genuinely believe Penta is losing his mask and going to WWE, and those people are very silly.

There are three title matches on this show. I would bet on all three titles changing hands, even the Cruiserweight title where we don’t even know who’s in it. I do not expect surprises in the apuesta matches.

 

Villano III passes away, CMLL notes

Villano III has passed away today. He was 65 or 66 depending on the source. He’d been having health problems for years and is said to have passed away from a brain hemorrhage while in the hospital.

Villano III was one of the great stars of the 70s & 80s in El Toreo. He always involved with their WWF Light Heavyweight Championships. He had a Santo like list of apuesta matches won, including names like Perro Aguayo, Super Astro, Pegasus Kid (Chris Benoit), Mascara 2000, and pretty much all Brazos (despite not being in the famous three versus three match.) Villano III’s best-remembered match is not any of the wins, but his mask loss against Atlantis. The March 2000 battle of two tecnico legends of rival companies is considered one of the best matches in the last two decades of lucha libre. (In something which sounds familiar, that match had been teased for CMLL’s Anniversario show in 1999 only for it to end up with Mr. Niebla & Shocker deciding it instead.) Villano III was considered an excellent luchador in the 80s and 90s, and but the death of LLI/Toreo/UWA and the lack of preserved video robbed him a bit of his legacy. The mask match with Atlantis gave him a moment to be remembered in another promotion, and CMLL honored him for it last year at Homenaje a Dos Leyendas.

80s/90s lucha libre has extracted a hard price on the participants. There’s so many stars who’ve passed away before reaching the age of 70. Villano I & III passed away a long time ago, and Villano III was obviously having health issues at his last TripleMania appearance in 2015. Many of the Brazos they feuded with have passed and away, and others of that era are said to be in poor shape. I know everyone nowadays is doing a lot more athletic and hardcore spots, but the 80s guy had a hard bloody gladiator physical style with even harder rings, and worse conditions to do it in. LuchaWorld Alfredo has noted how many obits he’s had to write this year. I do not expect the pace to slow down, unfortunately.

Two sons of Villano III are wrestling today: Villano III Jr. is now an AAA regular, while Hijo del Villano III shows up CMLL trainee photos but has only wrestled in indies so far.

(TripleMania news will come along in a separate post in a little bit.)

CMLL (MON) 08/20/2018 Arena Puebla [Lost in LuchaLucha Central]
1) Asturiano, Centella Roja, Millenium b Ares, Espíritu Maligno, Sombra Diabólika LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 20 DE AGOSTO DE 2018 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Tecnicos took 1/3.
2) Joker b Shockercito [lightningLA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 20 DE AGOSTO DE 2018 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Joker won to set up a title match next week.
3) Lestat, Pegasso, Tritón b Cancerbero, Nitro, Policeman LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 20 DE AGOSTO DE 2018 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Tecnicos took 2/3.
4) Ángel de Oro, Matt Taven, Niebla Roja b Ephesto, Mephisto, Templario LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 20 DE AGOSTO DE 2018 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Tecnicos took 1/3.
5) Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero b Cavernario, La Bestia Del Ring, Rush [Relevos IncreíblesLA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 20 DE AGOSTO DE 2018 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Guerreros took 2/3, the last when Rush fouled UG.

I’ve seen nothing of this show so far, but I’m guessing the main event gets repeated next week. Cavernario & Rush aren’t losing many pinfalls.

Today’s CMLL show has NGD versus Atlantis, Mistico, and Soberano. The first half of the card has nothing strong, and the second half has some has some that could be good if things go the right away. It’s a show you can skip. Lucha Central has a preview.

The most interesting Tuesday show is in Guadalajara, as it tends to be. Ultimo Guerrero defends the NWA Middleweight Championship against Caristico in a match with Universal title implications. UG has another ticket via the trios titles, while Caristico would be left off. I’d assume Caristico loses here so he doesn’t have to lose later in the tournament, but I was wrong on the title change last week. CMLL will have the winner of this match, as well as Hechicero to talk about last week’s loss, on this week’s CMLL Informa.

CMLL will also have their own press conference for CMLL’s Anniversario show this Friday. I’m expecting the main event and maybe one other match to be announced, not the full card. I don’t know for sure.

DTU announced LuFisto would be coming back to Mexico in September. They’re probably doing the LuFisto/Faby Apache match on one of these shows. Masashi Takeda will also be on the September 11-13 shows.

3-2-1 Battle, a promotion in Seattle, will have Daniel Makabe versus Negro Navarro on 08/24. It appears they stream their events on Twitch.

LuchaWorld has this week’s Poster-Mania.

The latest edition of the +LuchaTV podcast is up.

Criterio Hidalgo has an interview with Pesadilla about his career and mentions Ciclope & Miedo Extremo successfully defending their FREEDOMS Tag Championship. Pesadilla seems to mention he had a WWE tryout, which would fit with WWE looking at Mexican wrestlers who’ve also wrestled in Japan.

ESTO interviews Mascara 2000.

MedioTiempo talks to Maximo.

MedioTiempo writes about the history of LA Park at TripleMania.

There’s an exhibition of lucha libre photography in San Francisco.

Lineups

CMLL (SUN) 08/26/2018 Arena México
1) Arkalis & Robin vs Camorra & Inquisidor
2) La Guerrera, Marcela, Sanely vs Amapola, La Comandante, Metálica
3) Rey Cometa vs Guerrero Maya Jr. [lightning]
4) Black Panther, Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr. vs Disturbio, Dragón Rojo Jr., Okumura
5) Diamante Azul, Kráneo, Soberano Jr. vs Felino, Hechicero, Rey Bucanero
6) Atlantis, Matt Taven, Volador Jr. vs Euforia, Mr. Niebla, Negro Casas

Sanely was back last week doing the book signing deal and wrestling on the Toryumon Mexico show. This is his first CMLL in-ring match since April. It appeared she had a knee injury based on photos posted on Twitter, but she and CMLL never explained what happened.