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.