lucha TV preview for weekend of February 8th, 2019

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This is a dueling Friday night, with AAA on Twitch & CMLL Marca overlapping streams. AAA has rare TV tapings in the US Mountain Time zone this weekend, which means those times are a little bit later than usual. CMLL will kick off at 8:30 pm CT, with AAA scheduled to start at 9:00 pm CT but probably not getting in the ring for a half hour after that. You can watch the first two matches of CMLL without a distraction, though you may choose to be distracted.

Likewise, the AAA show on Sunday is listed as 1800 on the poster and is really 7:30 pm CT with the time zone change and the usual AAA opening. Both AAA shows include an impressive three-way title matches. Wagner/Demon may make an impression as well.

CMLL Puebla has a-first ever singles match in Rush versus Cuatrero. CMLL Tuesday doesn’t have an announced card yet.

AEW announced a partnership with AAA tonight (no, for real, this actually happened)

About an hour before their press conference for their 05/25 Double or Nothing show, AEW dropped the news they had an alliance with Lucha Libre AAA. A Dorian Roldan video was posted talking about the deal, and apologizing for not being able to do in person. (They had a busy day.) Cody Rhodes mentioned the alliance during the press conference, talking AAA “with an emphasis on modern stars.” Sammy Guevera was also introduced as the AAA cruiserweight champion and boasted of being the best cruiserweight/junior wrestler in the world. That seemed to set up to a match, though no one specifically came out to challenge him.

The “emphasis on modern stars” line was amusing about a promotion who is heading to a Dr. Wagner Jr. (54) versus Blue Demon Jr. (53) apuesta match as their biggest match of the year. It also probably is a hint at who AEW is aiming to bring in: lots of people have seen the Hijo del Vikingo GIFs, lots of important people have seen the Hijo del Vikingo GIFs, and I’d suspect those young wrestlers will be the ones AEW are looking to bring it in, either as a standalone trios or as facing Guevera in a title match. (Guevera appearing with the title suggests he’s keeping until May; Guevera even still working for AAA by May seemed highly unlikely multiple times in the past week.) AAA will also be probably hoping to include people like Psycho Clown on an AEW show, to further promoter him as an international star. There may be potential for some AAA’s women to also make it to AEW, given the small size of their roster so far.

Likewise, this should mean AEW wrestlers eventually and occasionally showing up on AAA shows. There’s a history of AAA bringing in unusual names for TripleMania cameos. The ELITE in a random mutli-team match would fit nicely right along the times Beer Money or a random NOAH tag team showed up. I think it would be looking for too much to expect those wrestlers in big matches on TripleMania or regular presences on TV tapings but this was implied to be more than a one-off.

My impression is this a deal that was pursued by the AAA side. Konnan has been a fan of Young Bucks and what they’ve been able to do in and out of the ring for a long time. He likely was instrumental in making this happen. This isn’t AEW picking between CMLL and AAA (or anyone else) as AAA getting in front of them and making a good case while CMLL was unaware anything was even happening. At the same time, if the situation changes and AEW can make a deal with NJPW and part of the requirement is ditching AAA, they’ll move on a moment. (Though that moment would also include AAA strongly trying to convince NJPW to switch to them as well.) There was nothing saying this is permanent, and alliances between wrestling promotions do come and go. It’s also possible AAA could also keep working with Impact, there was nothing specifically said that is done. Wrestling is a weird spider web of alliances: AEW is also partnered with OWE, who are partnered with The Crash, who are definitely not partnered with AAA.

Guevera was not the only AAA champion to appear on this show. A segment teased a Young Bucks versus Best Friends match, only for Penta & Fenix to show up to destroy Matt & Nick Jackson and seemingly set up a three-way tag. The Lucha Brothers were referred to as “Penta el Zero M” and “Rey Fenix”, their indie names, meaning this is a deal on their own and not part of the AAA alliance at all. There was no mention of their status with AEW beyond the tease of that match.

One other familiar face appeared at the press conference. Sonny Kiss, known to Lucha Underground Season 4 viewers as XO Lishius, appeared early on was said to be signed. That’s notable because Kiss would join PJ Black as mysteriously being able to sign contracts with other promotions despite other LU roster members being stuck. Neither Kiss nor Black are the wrestlers hinted at getting out of their deal via lawyer in the Lucha Central article about the situation. Maybe, like the Lucha Brothers, Sonny Kiss’ deal is not what it first seems or maybe there’s another explanation coming

AEW working with AAA throws another weird twist in that situation. MGM Lucha Underground people have previously put the blame on AAA/Dorian Roldan for wrestlers not being granted contract releases. AEW would very much like to sign Penta, Fenix, likely Joey Ryan and who knows whom else, but can’t because of the very people they’re now choosing to work with (if you choose to believe MGM.) There was a short window between the AAA announcement and the AEW one with some hope that AAA was giving AEW some freedom in signing LU wrestlers and identities. Fenix & Penta using their indie names suggests that probably isn’t the case.

AEW still have a long way until that Double or Nothing show, so there will be time for more AAA news to come. The Elite have been making ‘surprise’ appearances on various indie shows. I guess we can’t rule out a trip to Mexico at some point.

AAA on Azteca7 Fridays starting on 02/15, Fantasma (and others) suing LU

Lucha Underground Lawsuits

Two lawsuits have been filed against El Rey Network and Baba-G Productions over talent contracts for Lucha Underground. Baba-G appears to be the production company for LU; this is a stand-in in for Lucha Libre FMV, MGM, and probably anyone else who owns the company. Both lawsuits include Hijo del Fantasma.

  • Pro Wrestling Sheet first got a copy of one of the lawsuits, which argues the terms in the LU contracts are illegal and have caused Hijo del Fantasma to miss out on job opportunities elsewhere where he not restricted by them. He’s arguing he should’ve been able to leave the deal to sign with WWE or another company and, since the contract preventing him from it is not legal, El Rey/MGM owe him the money he would’ve been paid. Hijo del Fantasma is known to have had a WWE offer around the time season 2 of Lucha Underground was filmed. Fantasma’s lawyer talked about the situation with Lucha Central, making it clear this wasn’t about getting out of the LU deal but hinted there was another lawsuit that was.
  • Lucha Central then posted about that other lawsuit, a class action suit involving Fantasma, Joey Ryan, Ivelisse, and Thunder Rosa looking for their releases. Joey Ryan & Ivelisse have been public about wanting out of their LU deals. Thunder Rosa is a bit more of a surprise because he’s also currently working for MGM produced Women of Wrestling using her LU Kobra Moon character. Still, she might have also gotten a contract from Ring of Honor in the current run of signing new people had she been given the option; she and Holiedad as the Twisted Sister have been semi-regulars there the last few months.

Lucha Underground hasn’t said anything about either case. There’s usually no one employed to say anything between the seasons. That is also essentially the problem here; if people were actually making money between seasons, then maybe these people wouldn’t be so justifiably unhappy. The first of two cases is looking for arbitration, the second I’m not sure of. It may take a while for these two go anywhere, but time is all they have: even if LU eventually gets picked up, I don’t think they’ll be taping until August. If LU is canceled, it does resolve the lawsuit over getting releases, but they’d probably have to find some agreement about the money owed (or hope that granting freedom would be enough to make everything go away.)

Lucha Libre Online posted an interview with Fantasma where Lucha Underground comes up, but only in how doing the King Cuerno character helped his career and how much he liked the fans. He was asked about Season 5 and said he had no idea when it would come. The lawsuits just didn’t come up. It may have been taped in advance, but it’s recent enough to be promoting the AAA tapings for this weekend.  Thunder Rosa did a live stream last night. She avoided talking about LU when it was asked about in comments. (Same for AEW when it came up, for what it’s worth.)

Fantasma was at the AAA press conference today. It appears this does not affect his AAA situation; in the past, there’s been a threat of losing LU spots if people stopped working for AAA. That never seemed to happen and it apparently isn’t going the other way.

The lawsuits make it more likely Lucha Underground does not come back for a fifth season. It’s been hard to argue for a fifth season for a long time, and there must be some compelling reasons we don’t understand for this to keep going at this point because I can’t think of a way to argue for that side right now.

Pentagon & Fenix would seem to be obvious additions to both lawsuits. They have been working everywhere, but they probably would’ve been offered better deals had they been able to sign for long-term. The Young Bucks are the example here; they worked for everyone for a couple of years and seemed to end up better off when they signed with ROH & NJPW exclusively. They can argue they’re owed money just as much as Fantasma, and a release would allow them to sign with AEW (or WWE or anyone else.) It’s unclear how long these lawsuits have been in the working, so they could end up part of later on. It’s possible we’ll hear more about this later tonight; AEW has a press conference tonight and I think there’s a pretty good chance Fenix & Penta will be there.

The whole matter of Lucha Underground releases got a little more confusing this week even outside of these lawsuits. PJ Black announced he had signed with Ring of Honor a few days ago. That is strange because he would have seemed to be just as much under Lucha Underground contract as those in this lawsuit. Lucha Underground did give some people their releases, but they were usually very loudly written out. (Jack Evans, Matanza, Killshot to name three.) PJ Black did not appear to be written out. The lawyer working with Fantasma mentioned he’d helped a couple of people get their releases from Lucha Underground, maybe PJ was one? Maybe that inconsistency will come up in court.

AAA on Azteca 7

AAA will start on TV Azteca 7 on February 15th as Lucha Azteca AAA. The show will air Friday afternoons at 4:30 pm. They will be 2 hours shows, a half hour more than they’d been getting from Televisa/9 the last few years. That time slot is a movie this week and last. It leads into soccer (though there’s a 15-minute gap) and it leads off of children’s program. The announcers will be Rafael Ayala & Carlos Aguilar, who did wrestling announcing for the network both on SmackDown and for Lucha Libre Elite. (Some reports also have Gerardo Melin.)The reviews were not kind. The Lucha Libre Elite broadcasts featured Shocker (and later Veneno) also in the booth. Record says a luchador will be added to Azteca team. The only two wrestlers AAA has used as announced have been Konnan and Vampiro, Konnan has so many commitments that flying doing announcing regularly as well may not be possible, so prepared for the worse.

Apolo Valdez mentions the AAA show will also repeat on Azteca’s A+ on Sundays, though no time has been announced. There is no mention of the show airing in the US. This is the same sort of schedule Elite had, I think there’s a good chance it means AAA will likewise air in the US, but there’s no firm information to be had. If you’re a person who watches AAA on Twitch, Space or Multimedios, nothing is supposed to change. I presume the same will be true for YouTube, but nothing has been said yet. We’ll get an idea of a lot of that starting on Friday.

Leo Riano’s column has some details on the deal. TV Azteca has picked up AAA for one year, will pay all the production expenses and will pay AAA some amount in rights fee. Riano says AAA had been paying for production themselves (unhappy with how Televisa’s work). It’s been reported previously that Televisa was not paying AAA anything for the rights.

Riano also mentions Televisa is still interested in having lucha libre content and people in CMLL have told him Televisa’s talked to them about picking up their promotion again. CMLL has not been on Televisa since 2013. The story at the time was Televisa wanted CMLL to make some changes to “modernize” the product and CMLL was no interested. This could be as simple as Televisa seeing if CMLL’s position has changed – and maybe it has with different people having influence, The key point is Leo Riano is mentioned this in hopes he can get back on the air there with CMLL, since he’s not going with AAA.

El Planchitas tacks on that there’s some regret on CMLL’s side that they broke up with ELITE last year when they had a deal to be on Azteca’s A+ network, because they could be having this deal today instead of AAA. The column also mentions how much Alberto is looking for matches ($10K) and has gossip about Paige’s current relationship that I’m on touching. WWE female wrestling fans are not to be messed with.

A press event was held today at Azteca’s offices to promote the show, with a couple of matches. La Parka, Chessman, Blue Demon and Psycho Clown joined Dorian Roldans & Marisela Pena in a ring as part of the presentation. Parka & Chessman were holding the urns. Demon was prominently featured in the presentation and seemingly going forward on the show. Mascarita Sagrada, who hasn’t been seen since his Lucha Capital run, was also mentioned in the press release. About 30 luchadors were present, including people like Pagano and Lady Shani and Parka Negra and Tiger Boy (who does exist.) Hijo del Fantasma was there with La Mascara & Texano. No Rey Escorpion; he, Aerostar, Dr. Wagner, and were among those not present. No Vampiro or Konnan. The wrestlers were doing appearances on Azteca shows all today to promote the show. This is far more promotion than Televisa gave AAA.

They ran two matches, streamed on Facebook:

AAA (THU) 02/07/2019 TV Azteca Studios, Iztapalapa, Distrito Federal
1) Bengala, Hijo Del Vikingo, Myzteziz Jr. b Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana Facebook video (posted by aztecadeportes)
2) Argenis & Drago b Averno & Súper Fly Facebook video (posted by aztecadeportes)

Both are just about 4 minutes long and the stream quality isn’t great.

Azteca 7 is amusingly just reusing the same social media accounts they had for Lucha Libre Elite for the new show. The Facebook is the same, with most of the ELITE stuff scrubbed. It’s a good way to keep followers.

On his podcast, Konnan mentioned the Multimedios TV deal is going to lead to AAA running more shows in that northern Mexico region of the country. They think that the area is doing better financially and the Multimedios reach is strong there, so they expect good crowds. People say Disco Infierno is not smart but I’m here to tell you he really is smart because he’s figured out that the best way to get out of doing the Mexican wrestling news segment on the podcast is to ambush it off the bat by side-tracking everyone on star ratings and Dave Meltzer complaints.

Other News

KDNA now lists a Blue Demon Jr. vs La Parka vs Dr. Wagner main event to the 03/03 Monterrey show. The rest of the card doesn’t change.

Ultimo Guerrero, the only two-time Universal champion, is hoping to make it three. Niebla Roja is hoping to take out some big names.

Ultimo Maldito will take Toxin’s place on the MexaWrestling show. He’ll team with Puma King against Aramis & Arkangel Divino, which seems like great news for Divino.

LuchaWorld has the latest Lucha Talk.


CMLL (TUE) 02/12/2019 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Joker, Mágico, Mr. Samurai vs Gran Kenut, Maléfico, Mr. Apolo
2) Magnus, Robin, Vaquero Jr. vs Guerrero de la Muerte, Metálico, Sangre Azteca
3) Drone, El Audaz, Rey Cometa vs Hechicero, Templario, Virus
4) Kráneo, Soberano Jr., Valiente vs Rey Bucanero, Shocker, Terrible
5) La Bestia Del Ring, Místico, Rush vs Gran Guerrero, Mephisto, Último Guerrero [Relevos Increíbles]

That third match looks really promising. I will actually watch it. Maybe.

2019 watch later catch up, part 1 of ∞

Aramis & Dragon Bane

Flamita vs Rey Horuz
(Mexa Wrestling @ Arena San Juan Pantitlan on 01/01, 14:31, good,
Carxyus Pro)

Rey Horuz/Flamita had some really nice DDT bumps if you like people take fancy DDTs. This might be the extent of nice things I can say about this match. Nothing went wrong in the execution of the moves and there were moves, but the pace of the match was slow and there was no flow at all to the action. This is less the indie dream match style and more like “the beatdown by working years of CMLL midcard” style. I’ve switched it back between OK & good at least three times.

taking the sit up fall down DDT bump is very popular

Carístico, Dragón Bane, Templario vs Aramis, Arkángel Divino, Toxin
(Mexa Wrestling @ Arena San Juan Pantitlan on 01/01, 13:27, ok, 
Carxyus Pro.)

This was really the opposite. They wanted this match to be good and had planned out a lot, but things big and small were falling apart. The opening minutes have Carístico trying a handspring and landing on his behind hilariously. The closing minutes have Dragon Bane and Arkangel Divino trying an ambitious step up reverse rana on the apron and only really coming close to disaster. There are good exchanges and an idea to build to at the end (Arkangel’s super Mistica versus the guy who started the move) but the execution is lacking at times. There’s enough here to make a better highlight video than other match but it didn’t go so well. Templario was underutilized and really needed to be on the other team to base for some of this, or maybe everyone needed to fail a bit so they could learn from the experience.

Dragon Bane

Aramis, Imposible, Rokambole Jr., Villano V Jr. vs Capo del Norte, Capo del Sur, Dragón Bane, Hijo de Canis Lupus
(IWRG @ Arena Naucalpan on 01/06, 17:17, good,

A good out of control IWRG brawl. The Villanos and the Capos don’t really add a whole lot to this, though they don’t get in the way either. Canis Lupus bleeds a tremendous amount, which comes out of nowhere in the second half of the match. It looks like he takes some Imposible chairs hots and blades but he’s not seen from the front for a while and then they suddenly show him covered in blood. It’s quite a sight. Dragon Bane & Aramis steal the show with a hilarious chase thru the bleachers and a big fall and a plancha to get of it. There’s one spot that requires a second try in the ring, but most of their action goes well and they’re the best part of this match easy. Everyone’s game in this match and it finishes surprising well for an IWRG match.

a sleeve full of crackers

Angelikal, Hijo Del Vikingo, Niño Hamburguesa vs La Chiva, Tiger Boy, Villano III Jr.
(Sanchez @ Arena Neza on 01/06, 21:40, good,
Estrellas del Ring)

This vague crew of people are having more entertaining AAA house shows matches than the past; the two Jinetes, V3 and Chicano had a fun match late last year too. This one is more brawling than that, with it splitting over the barrier earlier on. The small loud Arena Neza crowd gets into it and shrieks loudly when the técnicos get in their big moves. There’s a lot of those, with Vikingo especially taking it to a spectacular level in his third fall run. Villano III Jr. works with him a bunch and does well at it, as he does in the beatdown. V3 Jr. is as good or better as he is on AAA TV, and as good as some of the other guys being brought up as the next guys to break out in the US. I’m not sure if he’s flashy enough to stand out. I’m sure he would be a valuable part of an ensemble.


Penta 0M & Rey Fénix vs Cibernético & Rush and Hijo de LA Park & LA Park
(The Crash CDMX? @ Centro de Alto Rendimento The Crash on 01/27, 15:10, good,
Estrellas del Ring)

A wild match with strong effort for a heavily attended but smaller show. It loses a little bit when they try to settle it down to a normal match for a bit near the end, and LA Park & Rush make the rest of the match disappear for two minutes at the end while they go thru all their ref shenanigans. That was the matchup the people wanted to see, so I guess it’s more strange than bad. Most of these people have worked so much with each other the last couple of years that they can get to the big moments pretty easily. Ciber is a little bit slow out and out of place, but he still takes the Fenix double stomp to the back like a champ. This seems good on video and probably was more fun live.

Ciber must wonder what happened many times a week

Dragón Lee & Golden Magic vs Fénix & Flamita
(Sanchez/Invasion Indy @ Arena Neza on 01/27, 9:32, great,

This doesn’t go long, so they go full speed from the start. There’s a strong intensity to the match, with everyone trying to outdo each other. They even eventually settle into some level of teamwork, instead of just coming off like a four way match earlier. Dragon Lee & Fenix have an exchange that desperately wants to see one singles match between them before they go different ways, and the Fenix & Flamita team is exceptional good for two guys who haven’t teamed much (and haven’t always been close friends.) I liked this a lot.

double action

more 2018 lucha db stats: CMLL appearances by day of the week, busiest states, AAA TV records

I did this two years ago. (I was busy writing a book last year, I think.)

CMLL Appearances By Days Of The Week

You can see the full chart here.

most Friday night Arena Mexico shows: Volador Jr., Ultimo Guerrero, Caristico, Barbaro Cavernario, Rush
most Tuesday night Arena Mexico shows: Stuka Jr., Mephisto, The Panther, Ephesto, Niebla Roja

There’s an a-team/b-team divide there. My theory is the Tuesday night guys are CMLL programming have no plans for, but there is some needed to have credible main events for those shows too. Maybe the better way is to look is to see not who works the most, but who works much more on one show than the other:

most Tuesday shows more than Friday shows: Nitro (22), Lucifierno (18), Pequeno Olimpico & Acero (16), Stuka Jr. (15)
most Friday shows more than Tuesday shows: Volador (36), Rush (27), Ultimo Guerrero & Barbaro Cavernario (26), Terrible (25)

Yea, that’s still pretty close. Pequeno Olimpico leads the way with most matches overall (47) with 0 Friday night appearances. LA Park & son broke the chart the other way,

Leaders in other categories:

most Puebla shows: Stigma (31) – son of person who runs the building
most Tuesday Arena Mexico: Stuka Jr. (33)
most Tuesday Guadalajara: Esfinge (30) – son of person who runs the building
most Friday Arena Mexico: Volador Jr. (44)
most Saturday Arena Coliseo: Stuka Jr. (23)
most Sunday Arena Mexico: Valiente & Niebla Roja (31)
most Sunday Guadalajara: Magico (37)

Magico was the original name of Mascara Sagrada. I don’t know this one. He wrestled on only 10 Tuesday shows, so he doesn’t have the most matches of the Guadalajara locals. That would be Difunto, who had 54 matches in that building alone. He got more CMLL bookings than Electrico, Sangre Azteca and Bengala, among many others.

Blue Panther wrestled the most matches without wrestling in Puebla. LA Park & son did the most without a Tuesday Arena Mexico. Sam Adonis disappeared from CMLL before he got to work a Coliseo match in 2018. Nitro didn’t go to Guadalajara all year. Pequeno Universo did not work on a Sunday.

Events/Wrestlers by State

Mexico City is the home of lucha libre. Except, there are a few states where I found many more lucha libre events in 2018

  1. Estado de Mexico (889)
  2. Veracruz (558)
  3. Coahuila (527)
  4. Jalisco (482)
  5. Ciudad de Mexico (461)

The wrestler to wrestle the most in one state appears to be someone named Angel Negro in Veracruz. Only, there might have to be two Angel Negros, because he’s wrestling twice a day most Sundays, sometimes in Veracruz and in Fortin at the same time. I will never be able to tell them apart.

Nayarit was the only Mexican state where I found zero events from all of 2018. This made me sad, so I searched Facebook and found a show from December. I’m still kind of sad, to be honest.

Lunatik Xtreme, one of the sons of X-Fly, turned up on the most Mexico State cards.

You can see a full list here.

AAA TV Win/Loss Records

This includes anything that aired as part of a taping on Twitch. I guess these would be different if we looked at what aired, though it rarely seemed like AAA had figured what was going to when they recorded the shows.

Most wins: Psycho Clown (19)
Most losses: Pagano, Joe Lider, Parka Negra (15)
Most matches: Psycho Clown (30)
Best win % (at least 5 matches): Nino Hamburguesa (80%, 8-2)
Worst win % (at least 5 matches): Joe Lider (13%, 2-15-1)

You can see a full chart here.